Vikings reach out to the community and give troubled youth a chance in a sport they enjoy.
Young people has always been a priority for the Vikings. Youth from troubled communities, who don’t find a place in the traditional Norwegian athletic environments often seek out tougher, more action filled alternatives. In competition with pure fighting sports, Vikings still experience a surge of young athletes. The tough nature of the sport, coupled with the Vikings focus on discipline, belonging and team-spirit draws in many of these kids every year.
The Vikings have seen the positive effects playing football has had on many of their players from troubled neighborhoods. These experiences lead the Vikings to initiate one of Oslo’s most successful projects targeted at helping troubled youths.
In 1996 the Vikings contacted some of the communities in South Eastern Oslo, and in cooperation with the city council of Bydel Nordstrand and the preventative part of Manglerud Police station the Vikings started an outreach project fashioned around American Football. The project was named “Nordstrand Bandits”, and was aimed at offering youths a healthy sports alternative which would interest them, but with the natural discipline and respect that comes with being on an American football team. The people responsible for the projects are professional youth workers as well as coaches for the Vikings.
In 2007 the Vikings started a similar project at St.Haugen, and we are looking for ways to expand this effort.
Why do we go through all this effort? Because we see a tangible change in the local youth-environments!
These youth projects are expensive for Vikings, but it is in every way worth it! So far, we’ve chosen to follow up these projects using only funds from the club, but with plans of expansion and with the growing scope of the projects already initiated we are now dependant on finding sponsors and/or support through government grants.