Lay's RePlay, a global initiative created in partnership with the UEFA Foundation for Children and streetfootballworld, has been launched in Turin with the opening of a new pitch and associated support programmes.
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Thousands of people in Turin will benefit from a new pitch built thanks to the Lay's RePlay initiative ahead of this weekend's UEFA Women's Champions League final in the city.
UEFA chief of women's football Nadine Kessler was on hand with former Italy men's midfielder Claudio Marchisio to open the facility, which will provide 18 hours of weekly football sessions for young people and women at risk of social exclusion in the Aurora district of Turin.
The programmes, which focus on educational empowerment and personal growth, are designed and measured against four key areas:
- Creating a sense of belonging
- Increasing engagement
- Promoting safety
- Ensuring access to sport
Nadine Kessler, UEFA chief of women's football
"Inclusion in the world of sport is fundamental and it is a value in which I personally believe in a lot. I have been able to experience first-hand the impact that sport and football can have on everyone's life and thanks to the synergy between the UEFA Foundation and Lay's RePlay, we are having a positive impact on thousands of people who otherwise could not have a place where to play.
"In my opinion, the importance of this project is therefore fundamental for young people both as a place to meet, play and share, and for talent and inclusiveness."
Claudio Marchisio, ex-Italy and Juventus midfielder
"It's an honour to be supporting the launch of the Lay's RePlay pitch ahead of the UEFA Women's Champions League final. I've been fortunate enough to play at some incredible facilities throughout my career so I can speak to the benefits that the Lay's RePlay pitch will have for the youth of Turin, and the generations that follow.
"This pitch will have a positive impact, uniting them through the power of football, helping them learn, grow, develop confidence and teamwork, and have fun."
What is Lay's RePlay and how does it create new pitches?
Lay's RePlay is a global initiative created in partnership with the UEFA Foundation for Children and streetfootballworld that aims to bring joy to deserving communities by creating football pitches partially made of reused chip bags.
A zero net carbon footprint initiative, it has already facilitated the opening of three football pitches in South Africa, Brazil and England in 2021, with Italy marking the first RePlay pitch to land in 2022.
Built using the most sustainable technology, RePlay gives empty Lay's chip bags a second life, making up 32% of the pitch, as well as the turf and shockpad layer being 100% recyclable. From selecting the materials to the installation itself, Lay's RePlay pitches are designed to minimise the impact on the environment, biodiversity and community in each country.
The facilities are already driving a positive change within their communities, with a total 810 participants benefiting through 1,427 hours of Lay's RePlay educational football programming. A further 19,000 wider community members have also enjoyed general use of the pitch or special community events.
Straight into use with five-on-five tournament
Gatorade will immediately put the freshly laid pitch to good use as it kicks off the national Italian final of the all-women's Gatorade 5v5 tournament, which for the first time coincides with PepsiCo's wider sponsorship of the UEFA Women's Champions League final. Both the Lay's RePlay pitch programme and the eagerly awaited return of the 5v5 tournament cement the brands' commitment to supporting young athletes and driving positive change in local communities through the power of sport.
After local rounds held in eight Italian cities, the winners will compete at the national finals in Turin. The female winners, aged 14 to 16, will have the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to take their place in the opening ceremony of the UEFA Women's Champions League final, taking the banner to the middle of the pitch as official centre circle carriers.