ESPN, Community Organizations Build Safe Spaces to Play Sports Across Latin America and India

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Media Contact:
Alexandra Chalat: lex@canyouthinkbeyond.com
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ESPN Teams up With Community Organizations to Build Safe Spaces to Play Sports Across Latin America and India
A community project led by ESPN will see four more sport spaces built in Latin America and India to house sustainable programs aimed at teaching young people employability skills through sports. The development of these sports spaces is a continuation of work that ESPN, love.fútbol and A Ganar began earlier in the year.

Nov. 1, 2016 - ESPN has teamed up with expert sports development organizations love.fútbol, A Ganar and local community programs to continue building multifunctional community sports spaces in Mexico City, Mexico; Bogota, Colombia; Sao Paulo, Brazil; and Bangalore, India. Each community will be carefully selected based on need, socio-economic status, sustainability of the project and community support.

Alongside local community organizations INATOS and UASI, ESPN and love.futbol installed two multifunctional sport courts in the communities of Dos Macacos in Rio de Janeiro and La Cava in Buenos Aires, which were unveiled earlier this year. These communities are now hosting a range of sports programming through the award-winning program A Ganar, which provides communities across Latin America with training and skills that lead to employment, all using soccer as the catalyst.  A Ganar is delivering programming on the newly developed sites for the next year with the objective of empowering young people and providing them with job opportunities and pathways to work through the power of soccer.

A sports space in Mexico City will soon follow suit, with local organization Street Soccer Mexico. Sport courts in Bogota and Sao Paulo will be built in early 2017, with Bangalore, India, being the site of the first ESPN safe space project outside of Latin America, in summer 2017.

love.futbol, which builds community sports facilities all over the world, is working closely with local organizations in each city to engage the surrounding community to create a true sense of ownership of the space and thereby enabling ongoing sustainable and impactful use. Volunteers from the local community, as well as ESPN employees, will help build the spaces.

 “At ESPN, we recognize 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.”

The Mexico City sports space will open on November 22nd with a ribbon-cutting event that will showcase local sport-for-social-change programs that are making a positive impact across the city, along with other special guests and community leaders.

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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 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 workplace.