A community project led by ESPN will see four more sport spaces built in Latin America and India to house sustainable programs aimed at teaching young people employability skills through sports. The development of these sports spaces is a continuation of work that ESPN, love.fútbol and A Ganar began earlier in the year.
ESPN has teamed up with expert sports development organizations love.fútbol, A Ganar and local community programs to continue building multifunctional community sports spaces in Mexico City, Mexico; Bogota, Colombia; Sao Paulo, Brazil; and Bangalore, India. Each community will be carefully selected based on need, population and socio-economic status.
Alongside local community partners INATOS and UASI, ESPN, love.fútbol installed two multifunctional sport courts in the communities of Dos Macacos in Rio de Janeiro and La Cava in Buenos Aires, which were unveiled earlier this year. These communities are now hosting a range of sports programming through the award-winning organization A Ganar, which provides communities across Latin America with training and skills that lead to employment, all using soccer as the catalyst. A Ganar is delivering programming on the newly developed sites for the next year with the objective of empowering young people and providing them with job opportunities and pathways to work through the power of soccer.
A sports space in Mexico City will soon follow suit, with local organization Street Soccer Mexico. Sport courts in Bogota and Sao Paulo will be built in early 2017, with Bangalore, India, being the site of the first ESPN safe space project outside of Latin America, in summer 2017.
love.fútbol, which builds community sports facilities all over the world, is working closely with local organizations in each city to engage the surrounding community to create a true sense of ownership of the space, thereby enabling ongoing sustainable and impactful use. Volunteers from the local community, as well as ESPN employees, will help build the spaces themselves.
“At ESPN, we recognize the important role sports play in developing life skills, from enhancing economic opportunities to improving employability,” said Kevin Martinez, vice president of ESPN Corporate Citizenship. “We’re proud to team up with love.fútbol and A Ganar to ensure that people in these communities have access to a safe, accessible place to play sports. This effort is part of our larger strategy of using the power of sports to ENSPIRE social change.”
The Mexico City sports space will open on November 22nd with a ribbon-cutting event that will showcase local sport-for-social-change programs that are making a positive impact across the city, along with other special guests and community leaders.