UEFA ambassador Jerzy Dudek to celebrate the inauguration of a second community pitch in Mragowo, Poland
Following the huge success of the first Field in a Box delivered by the UEFA Foundation for Children and FedEx to the community of Cañada Real in Madrid in May 2016 and its visible impact on the positive development of young people, FedEx, main sponsor of the UEFA Europa League, decided to continue its work with the UEFA foundation to provide similar fields to other communities in need. The global not-for-profit network streetfootballworld helped to identify the location for a second pitch, deciding on the town of Mragowo in northeast Poland on the basis of the potential for positive impact. Local charity Mazurskie Stowarzyszenie Inicjatyw Sportowych (MSIS), a partner of streetfootballworld in Mragowo, will be responsible for maintaining the pitch and ensuring its sustainable use through the employment of an activities coordinator.
The inauguration ceremony took place 31 August followed by a football3 training session with the presence of UEFA ambassador and retired Polish football player Jerzy Dudek, also members of the local community.
“The decision to build this football field in Mrągowo has already elevated the aspirations of people here. The pitch will be greatly beneficial in terms of community development, helping to integrate the people of Mrągowo with their neighbours and the municipality, and encouraging independence. Our aim for this pitch – to become a football3 training facility—means the pitch will not just benefit young people who use it, but also allow the teaching of football3 to spread beyond Mrągowo and have a broader impact in Poland,” said Arkadiusz Kamil Mierkowski, MSIS.
“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™’ program 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.
“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. In Cañada Real, we saw 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 same 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.
“Football has a proven ability to bring people together and change lives. 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,” said streetfootballworld director Vladimir Borkovic.