UEFA Europa League Dream for Local Children
The UEFA Foundation for Children is delighted to once again team up with FedEx to offer children a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to act as player escorts at the UEFA Europa League final on Wednesday 24 May at Friends Arena in Stockholm.
FedEx, the UEFA Europa League’s main partner, has donated its entire allocation of player escort places to disadvantaged children, giving them the chance to walk onto the pitch with their heroes from Manchester United FC and AFC Ajax. In addition, FedEx is donating 100 match tickets to other children through local charities.
The UEFA Foundation for Children and FedEx selected the lucky children with the help of streetfootballworld, a global non-profit organisation that uses football to drive social change, a Stockholm-based organisation Djurgarden Fotboll and three local charity organisations: Barn till Ensamma Mammor, Trygga Barnen and Kista Sports Club.
“We’re delighted to offer this opportunity to kids, and to deliver other community football projects with FedEx, who, as the main partner of the UEFA Europa League, shares our belief in football as a powerful tool for social change. In donating its player escort opportunities for the second year in a row, FedEx is once again providing children who face difficult challenges in their daily lives with an experience that’s really out of the ordinary,” said Pascal Torres, general secretary of UEFA Foundation for Children. “We hope the incredible atmosphere at the UEFA Europa League final and the pride of being chosen to escort these professional players onto the pitch will excite and inspire the children to follow their dreams.”
“As main sponsor of the UEFA Europe League, it’s important to us at FedEx that we make best use of our involvement in football to create positive opportunities in the communities we operate in at a local level,” said Patrick Stienlet, vice-president of ground operations for FedEx in the Nordic region. “While sport can’t offer a solution to all of the difficult challenges these children face in their daily lives, we know being part of an event as spectacular as this provides an exciting and inspiring breakaway from the norm.”
“Thanks to organisations like FedEx and their support of the ‘football for good’ movement, we’re able to connect two worlds: the world of professional football, where the glamour of a tournament unfolds on a global stage, and football on a local level, where the beautiful game plays its part in delivering social change,” streetfootballworld’s Vladimir Borkovic said.
Recognising that football has a unique power to transform lives, FedEx and the UEFA Foundation for Children worked together last year to set up an artificial pitch in an underserved community near Madrid, and they will build a second pitch in Poland this summer. Donated pitches are maintained by local charities through the streetfootballworld network, providing a safe environment for young people to play and develop important life skills, such as respect and dialogue.