ESPN has teamed up with expert sports organisations love.fútbol, A Ganar and local community partners INATOS and UASI, to build two new multifunctional sport courts in the communities of Dos Macacos in Rio De Janeiro and La Cava in Buenos Aires, each of which will be unveiled on April 30th and May 24rd, respectively.
The communities, carefully selected based on need, population and socio-economic status, will see sports opportunities renewed by the addition of these safe spaces. Dos Macacos, where the space in Rio de Janeiro is being built, has a population of nearly 15,000 and has some of the lowest rankings in the city for income and education. La Cava is one of the largest and most economically disadvantaged areas in greater Buenos Aires, with a prevalence of crime, drugs, alcohol, violence and firearms use.
love.futbol, which builds community sports facilities all over the world, worked closely with local municipalities, as well as UASI in Buenos Aires and INATOS in Rio de Janeiro – both of which have over 20 years experience providing services for their communities – to engage the surrounding community to create a true sense of ownership of the space, enabling ongoing sustainable and impactful use. Volunteers from the local community, as well as ESPN employees, helped build the spaces themselves.
“ESPN is committed to providing resources to kids in Buenos Aires and Rio de Janeiro to play sports,” said Russell Wolff, executive president and managing director, ESPN International. “We are pleased to collaborate with love.futbol, A Ganar, INATOS and UASI to build these sports courts in communities where there is a need as they can make a difference.”
Once the sport spaces are built, ESPN will provide support to the award-winning organisation A Ganar, which provides communities across Latin America with training and skills that lead to employment, all using soccer as the catalyst. A Ganar will deliver programming on both sites for the next year with the objective of empowering young people and providing them with opportunities and pathways to work through the power of soccer.
“At ESPN, we recognise 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.”
Ribbon-cutting events in each market will showcase leading sport-for-social-change programs that are making a positive impact across the city, along with other special guests and community leaders.
Notes to Editors:
About ESPN Corporate Citizenship: ESPN believes that, at its very best, sports uplifts the human spirit. Its corporate citizenship programs use power of sport to positively address society’s needs through strategic community investments, cause marketing programs, collaboration with sports organizations and employee volunteerism, while also utilizing its diverse media assets. For more information go to www.espn.com/citizenship.
About ESPN International
ESPN International is a division of ESPN, Inc., which has grown to include ownership — in whole or in part — of 24 television networks outside of the United States, as well as a variety of additional businesses that allow ESPN to reach sports fans in 61 countries and territories across all seven continents. ESPN International business entities include television, radio, print, internet, broadband, wireless, consumer products, and event management.
The company and its holdings maintain offices or production facilities in key locations around the world including Bangalore, Bristol, CT, Buenos Aires, Bogota, London, Mexico City, Miami, Melbourne, Mumbai, New York City, Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo, Singapore, Sydney, Tokyo and Toronto. Since 1983, ESPN (originally founded in Bristol, Connecticut, in 1979) has been growing around the world, establishing itself as the leading global sports media brand. The company’s philosophy to global growth is to always serve sports fans and be locally relevant to them, with content and products that tap into their great passion and dedication.
About love.fútbol: love.fútbol creates community soccer fields that act as community centres and catalysts for sustainable social change. They partner with communities to plan, build and manage low-resource, high-impact fields that encourage informal, creative soccer, act as hubs for social programs, generators of social enterprise and provide authentic, highly-visible touch points for brands. They have worked in some of the most difficult conditions across Latin America.
About A Ganar: Led by Partners of the Americas, the A Ganar Alliance combats youth unemployment in Latin America and the Caribbean using team sports. In essence, A Ganar is a youth employment program wrapped inside of a ball. At-risk youth, ages 16- 24, acquire marketable job expertise by building on six core sport-based skills: teamwork, communication, discipline, respect, a focus on results, and continual self-improvement. In 7-9 months, youth learn life and vocational skills and complete internships with local businesses. They learn to bring the best values of sport and apply them to the work place.
About UASI: Unión y Amistad de San Isidro works to promote good values, provide heath education and to encourage young people in the area to remain in the education system. A fundamental part of the project is building a sense of community for all the stakeholders taking part. The main objective is for participants to learn, live and convey values whist taking control of their lives.
About INATOS: Instituto de Assistência, Trabalho, Oportunidades e Saúde began in 1983 to support the educational needs of children in Morro dos Macacos, Rio de Janeiro. Throughout the years INATOS began vocational training programs as well as specific projects to address environmental issues. In the 90’s it launched an important partnership with the IDB, Petrobrás, Brazil Foundation and A Ganar, among others, to provide an innovative sports for development program. INATOS currently has Caixa Econômica Federal, ABS Trust and the municipality of Rio de Janeiro as partners.