14 November 2017

Since becoming Main Sponsor of the UEFA Europa League, FedEx Express (a subsidiary of FedEx Corp) has collaborated with the UEFA Foundation for Children and streetfootballworld to implement a programme of community projects using football as a platform for social change.

 

The first successful initiative near Madrid, Spain, has prompted the world’s largest express transportation company to expand its support of the football for good movement and keep the pitch turf rolling – last August in the direction of Mrągowo, a town in the heart of the Masurian Lake District of northeastern Poland.

 

“The decision to build this football field in Mrągowo has already elevated the aspirations of people here,” enthused Arkadiusz Kamil Mierkowski, from local charity Młodzieżowe Stowarzyszenie Inicjatyw Sportowych (MSIS), “Our aim for this pitch – to become a football3 training facility – means the pitch will not just benefit young people who use it, but will also allow the teaching of football3 to spread beyond Mrągowo and have a broader impact in Poland.” MSIS – a streetfootballworld partner in Poland – is responsible for maintaining the pitch in the community and ensuring its sustainable use.

 

On 31st August 2017, the artificial turf pitch was inaugurated at an official opening ceremony. Members of the local community, representatives from FedEx, the UEFA Foundation for Children and streetfootballworld were joined by the Mayor of Mrągowo, UEFA ambassador and retired Polish goalkeeper Jerzy Dudek.

 

“As Main Sponsor of the UEFA Europa League, FedEx aims to use its involvement in professional football to connect with people on a personal level. We saw in Cañada Real, the positive impact putting a playing field in a community can have. It’s rewarding for FedEx to open a second pitch here in Mrągowo, and feel the optimism surrounding a project we know can open up new possibilities for people who live here,” said David Binks, President of FedEx Express in Europe and CEO of TNT.

 

FedEx team members were able to share the excitement over the community’s new pitch, participating in the opening day football3 training session and tournament with local young players. The methodology, developed by streetfootballworld, aims to develop life skills such as dialogue, respect and team work.

 

“Football has a proven ability to bring people together and change lives,” commented streetfootballworld Network Director, Vladimir Borkovic, “We’re grateful that organisations like FedEx, who are affiliated with football at a professional level, extend their support to the football for good movement and recognise, not just the need, but the potential for projects like ‘Field in a Box™’ and football3 teaching methodologies to impact young people in communities like Mrągowo.”

 

 

 

The ‘Field in a Box™’ initiative is funded as part of ‘FedEx Cares’ - a broader pledge by the company to invest 200 million US Dollars in more than 200 communities by the year 2020.

Plans to expand the programme includes additional pitches on three continents – ensuring FedEx will continue to complement its professional football sponsorship with locally beneficial initiatives around the world.

 

“We are delighted that FedEx approach to social responsibility aligns with the football for good movement. As a global logistics business that is committed to giving back on a local level, FedEx is naturally positioned to expand the ‘Field in a Box™’ programme on to other continents. Together we look forward to improving the lives of young people through football, not just in Europe, but in underserved communities globally,” said Pascal Torres, General Secretary, UEFA Foundation for Children.

 

After celebrating the one-year anniversary of the ‘Field in a Box™’ in Spain, and the opening of this second pitch in Poland, FedEx can look forward to helping many more young people access the playing field - by delivering it right to their doorstep.

 

The first deliveries of ‘Field in a Box™’ for 2018 have already been confirmed and FedEx will send pitches to communities on three continents – watch this space!