Helping Kids Dream Big with Science and Soccer

In Spain, showing kids how to find their full potential through the power of science, soccer, learning and fun.

What happens when you take kids from the Real Madrid Foundation Social Sports School in Cordoba, Spain ... add in a visit to our state-of-the-art nutrition R&D center in nearby Granada ... on World Children's Day ... and sprinkle in some inspirational discussions about dreaming big?

You get a group of tween scientists learning about their own health and thinking about their future.

Scientifically speaking, it looks like this:

Observe: Daylong field trip to a nutrition science lab for 10- to 14-year-olds.

Question: What's it like to explore the science of nutrition?

Hypothesis: Maybe I could be a scientist someday.

Experiment: To learn how important nutrition is for good health.

Collect data: From you, your mates and leaders. And share goals.

Analyze: In fact, I absolutely could be a scientist someday.

Conclusion: It was cool. And if I don't become a scientist, I could be an engineer, or own a business or, really, anything I imagine.

And so that's what happened over the weekend in Spain. 

After learning about nutrition science, it was the kids' turn to tell us about their one "big goal" which they wrote down on a soccer ball and shared with the group before heading to the practice pitch for some drills.

Not a bad way to spend a day at all.

"World Children's Day is just one day, but we celebrate our future generation all 365 days of the year," said Ricardo Rueda, MD, PhD, research fellow and regional head of scientific affairs for Abbott's nutrition business. "Every day, we need to encourage and remind kids — and the world — of all the possibilities their future can hold and how important good health is in achieving their dreams and goals."

As Real Madrid's partner for Health Sciences and Nutrition and global partner of the Real Madrid Foundation, Abbott and our Center for Malnutrition Solutions want to bring education, sports and social welfare activities in support of at-risk children in the Foundation's Social Sports Schools around the world.

We want to inspire them to dream big.

"Sport is a universal language and good nutrition is a universal need," Rueda said. "Through Abbott's partnership with the Real Madrid Foundation, we can bring important information about health to kids in a fun and engaging way. We can help children better understand the importance of making good nutrition choices now and inspire them to pursue their goals for a healthy future full of possibilities."

World Children's Day was just the start.