Since 2019, the Paris Saint-Germain Endowment Fund has been offering “Dream” evenings to hospitalized sick children, via the “Dreamy” telepresence robot. Young supporters connect to experience special moments with the players of Paris Saint-Germain Football Club. Amir Ghanoudi, International Development and Charity Events Manager, explains how this system has become essential to allow the Foundation to go further in the actions implemented.
Inclusive telepresence: obvious in the era of the health crisis
What is the main use of the telepresence robot for the Paris Saint-Germain Endowment Fund?
“Every match night, the Paris Saint-Germain Foundation makes the dreams of sick children come true. Young supporters are invited to discover the boxes, to watch the kick-off from the edge of the field and above all, to meet the players. Two children are usually physically present and for those who are hospitalized, two telepresence robots are made available.
Credit: Paris Saint-Germain FC
We started using the system in 2019, primarily for young people in sterile room. Then there was the pandemic, which showed us that the BeamPro® telepresence robot was extremely useful in pursuing our mission with sick children by allowing them to access interactions with players despite health constraints. Indeed, the latter forced us to drastically restrict access to the stadium. Thus, we have chosen to equip ourselves with a second telepresence robot in 2021. From now on, on match nights, each of the two robots has its own circuit to offer each connected child a privileged and individual interaction with their idols.
Credit: Paris Saint-Germain FC
At the start of each season, an email is sent to our entire network of hospitals and associations to report on the schedule of Paris Saint-Germain matches. From this, we receive requests for “Dreams” evenings in physics and telepresence for disabled children. There are a lot of them!
With the pandemic, we had fallen far behind… The telepresence robot saved our actions! It worked every day, on matches nights for the children and on days for employees working from home. The tool runs smoothly: it adapts to many uses and has become a real automatism.
It is also used by young supporters unable to attend Champions League matches, during which the physical reception of children is restricted.”
Privileged interactions with Paris Saint-Germain teams
How do Paris Saint-Germain players experience these interactions?
“As for the players, at the start of each year, we make a presentation of the Foundation and Endowment Fund, our actions and the system to all the teams. Each time, those who see the robot in action for the first time are amazed: they wonder who controls the machine and it gives quite funny situations.
Moreover, it is not only the matches during which we use the solution. Other moments, not publicized, allow children to have even more privileged and longer interactions with the players.”
The telepresence robot, vector of happiness
What other uses of the telepresence robot do you envisage?
“Eventually, we would like to use the robot at the future Poissy training center which will bring together all the club’s departments. Our ambition is to use it as an educational tool to have a simple and intimate interaction with the players, if possible every day. This will allow us to bring happiness to many more young people who need it!
We have offices all over the world, so I have no doubt that it will also be used to collaborate internally, as is already the case at the Parc des Princes. Or to connect our fan clubs around the world as we already made it with Tunisia, Morocco, Brazil, Argentina and the USA.
Finally, we also do not hesitate to lend our telepresence robots where they can be of real use. This is what we did during the pandemic: the device was made available to the Emergency Department of Lariboisière Hospital to protect doctors from the risk of coronavirus contamination during consultations with patients. A way for the PSG Foundation and Endowment Fund to mobilize in the fight against the Covid-19 epidemic.”
The Paris Saint-Germain Foundation was created in 2000 with the mission of bringing happiness to sick children, young people and communities in difficulty such as migrants and refugees, and also to people with disabilities. Sport and its values are used as levers for learning, fulfillment and solidarity.
Among the programs implemented:
- the ROUGE & BLEU Schools, an extracurricular program which aims to supervise children after school by combining educational and sports activities. The objective: to give children the taste and the desire to learn, to help them to flourish, by placing sport at the heart of the educational approach.
- the ALLEZ LES FILLES program, which supports 25 young girls each season, who do not have the opportunity to practice a sport and who benefit from sports and cultural discovery sessions. The Foundation then pays for the license of the chosen sport for one year.
- the ALLEZ LES FEMMES program, which helps women who are victims of domestic violence, to help them regain their self-confidence.
The Foundation is also committed to the inclusion of people with disabilities, through an adapted football team and a disabled football tournament, whose matches take place alongside the U16 tournaments.
More information: https://foundation.psg.fr/
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