Former Spain defender Carlos Marchena has helped inaugurate a new football pitch in the Cañada Real district of Madrid, one of Spain's most economically disadvantaged areas.
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Children and young people from the Cañada Real district of Madrid, one of Spain's most economically disadvantaged areas, have a safe new place to play sport after the inauguration of a football pitch.
Carlos Marchena, the former Spain international and European and world champion, took part in Saturday's inauguration ceremony and joined a training session, to the delight of children present. The fully functional pitch is environmentally sustainable and was built in less than a week. It is equipped with floodlighting and changing facilities, and its innovative and modular design has many advantages, including low running costs.
It has been provided by the UEFA Foundation for Children and FedEx, main sponsor of the UEFA Europa League, in conjunction with the Red Deporte y Cooperación, a Madrid-based non-profit organisation and part of the streetfootballworld network.
Pascal Torres, general secretary of the UEFA Foundation for Children, said: "It is clear how powerful a tool football can be in uniting communities, and playing football provides an ideal environment for children from different backgrounds to integrate, learn and develop. We are delighted that FedEx shares our vision of extending access to football to all, and that by working together we have enabled thousands of children from this diverse community to play and grow together, safely."
The Madrid pitch consolidates the already solid portfolio of the UEFA Foundation for Children, which recently celebrated its first anniversary, and which acted as a facilitator and coordinator in this project. Streetfootballworld, the global non-profit network, which uses football to drive social change, developed, managed and implemented the project.
FedEx, the world's largest express transportation company provided financial assistance to the project, as part of its FedEx Cares, a $200m programme aimed at creating opportunities in over 200 communities by 2020.
Brenda McWilliams-Piatek, vice-president of marketing for FedEx Express Europe added: "At FedEx, we are absolutely committed to investing socially in the markets where we operate, and this project is an excellent example from our global 'delivering for good' programme of how we use our resources and network to connect local communities with access to facilities that would otherwise be out of their reach."
The UEFA Foundation for Children hopes that this marks the beginning of a sustained collaboration.
Find out more about the UEFA Foundation for Children: www.uefafoundation.org
For more information on FedEx, visit www.fedex.com
And visit www.streetfootballworld.com to find out more about their work.