The UEFA HatTrick assistance programme is one of the largest solidarity and development programmes ever to be established by a sports body.
HatTrick is funded by revenue from the UEFA European Football Championship, and was launched ahead of UEFA EURO 2004. It was established to provide financial support to the UEFA member associations in order to develop and foster football at all levels. For more than a decade now, it has supported the overall development of football across Europe – re-investing more than €1.5bn back into the growth of the game. As the name suggests, the HatTrick programme has been built around three pillars: investment funding, knowledge-sharing and education.
As a result of this programme, the overall landscape of European football has significantly improved. HatTrick has built management headquarters, new technical training centres and safe and modern stadiums. It has renovated administrative offices and provided even the most basic football infrastructures. For example, strong partnerships between HatTrick, UEFA member associations, municipalities and local authorities have led to the installation of over 3,000 mini-pitches across Europe, reinforcing and driving forward grassroots football and youth development.
In addition to ensuring that as many people as possible throughout Europe can aspire to play football, HatTrick also provides annual solidarity funding to the 55 UEFA member associations - supporting their participation in the UEFA youth, women's and amateur football competitions, their administrative costs and good governance projects, integrity activities, the implementation of the UEFA’s club licensing system and various UEFA conventions and charters. Furthermore, through the introduction of the UEFA Women's Football Development Programme (WFDP), the UEFA Elite Youth Player Development Programme (EYPDP) and the UEFA Football and Social Responsibility Programme (FSRP), HatTrick has underlined the importance that UEFA places on the growth of the women’s game, elite youth players and being socially aware and responsible.
Education also represents a strong pillar of the HatTrick programme, and has helped to raise the professional bar, in that national association staff and football stakeholders now have access to expert and invaluable training in management skills through several educational initiatives. The most prominent example is the UEFA CFM (Certificate in Football Management). The UEFA CFM has now evolved into a national edition, and is often tailored to the needs of a specific country or region. In addition, UEFA member associations have been able to exchange knowledge, ideas and best practices as a result of HatTrick's networking activities, through popular programmes such as UEFA KISS (Knowledge Information Sharing Scenarios).
HatTrick is a remarkable development programme. It is important to know that UEFA’s work goes a lot deeper than its major club and national team competitions – as the governing body of football in Europe, we consider growth and development an absolute prerequisite to maintaining a sustainable and highly successful football for all. Because without the foundations, there can be no dream.