FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – NOVEMBER 22, 2016
ESPN BUILDS AND DEDICATES MULTIFUNCTIONAL SPORTS COURT AND PLAYGROUND IN MEXICO
The community of Transportistas in Chimalhuacán celebrates the donation of a new safe space to play sports
Built by community volunteers and ESPN employees, the space will be the home of sustainable programming teaching young people job skills through sports.
Civic leaders, community residents, government officials, and ESPN and Disney employees gathered in the community of Transportistas in Chimalhuacán today to participate in the opening of a new court space built especially for the community and its residents. The global project is led by ESPN and sports development organizations love.fútbol and A Ganar, alongside local organizations Street Soccer Mexico and Deportivo Don Bosco.
The newly revitalized space will be home to ongoing programming for young people in the community where they will learn job skills and be empowered to fulfill their potential, all through the power of sports. The program was developed by award-winning organization A Ganar, which uses sports as a vehicle to provide communities across Latin America with training and skills that lead to employment and enables young people to achieve success in life. The court space was enhanced by a KaBOOM! playground built to inspire kids to get up, get outside and get active. The new playground is one of dozens made possible with support from The Walt Disney Company, and it will provide a safe place to play for thousands of children in the area.
Hosted by ESPN Mexico talent, Miroslava Montemayor and John Sutcliffe, the event was attended by John Skipper, co-chairman, Disney Media Networks and president of ESPN; Russell Wolff, executive vice president and managing director, ESPN International; Gerardo Casanova, vice president and general manager, Latin America North; along with community residents, ESPN and Disney employees, as well as government officials. The celebration included cultural performances by local youth, special recognition of community leaders who volunteered their time to the project, as well as soccer matches open to the community.
“At ESPN we believe that sports has the ability to transform lives, and we are proud to be able to serve communities around the world with programs that help us spread this message,” said John Skipper, co-chairman, Disney Media Networks and president of ESPN. “We are also excited to get our employees in Mexico involved in this effort and we look forward to seeing the community take advantage of this new space.”
“ESPN is committed to providing resources to kids in Mexico City to play sports,” said Russell Wolff, executive vice president and managing director, ESPN International. “We are pleased to collaborate with love.fútbol, A Ganar, KaBOOM!, Deportivo Don Bosco and Street Soccer Mexico to build this court and playground in a community where there is a need, as it can truly make a difference.”
The community of Transportistas in Chimalhuacán, carefully selected based on need, population and socio-economic status, will see sports and play opportunities renewed by the addition of this safe space. Located in a highly populated area that has high instances of violence, the space is the only active public place dedicated to sports in the surrounding neighborhood.
“We are thrilled to be able to support this community with sports programs that inspire social change,” said Gerardo Casanova, vice president and general manager, Latin America North. “We’re proud to team up with local and global organizations to ensure that people in these communities have access to a safe, accessible place to play sports.”
love.fútbol, which builds community sports facilities all over the world, helped to select the location for the new court, working closely with the local municipality, as well as Street Soccer Mexico, which has decades of experience providing services to the local community. The court was built and beautified with the help of community residents and ESPN employees.
The event came on the heels of ESPN’s Monday Night Football telecast of the NFL game between the Oakland Raiders and the Houston Texans, giving Mexico City fans an opportunity to experience American football up close and personal.
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Notes to Editors:
ESPN – Dennise Casanova – firstname.lastname@example.org
love.fútbol – Mano Silva – email@example.com
thinkBeyond – Alexandra Chalat – firstname.lastname@example.org
A Ganar – Taylor Nelson – email@example.com
ESPN Mexico: Since its launch in 1989, ESPN Mexico has expanded to include a portfolio of television, radio, print, broadband and digital brands to reach the Mexican sport fan. ESPN Mexico offers four 24-hour sport networks – ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN 3 and ESPN HD. Other platforms include ESPN Radio Formula - a daily, national syndicated radio program, ESPN.com an online platform with the widest range of sports and entertainment news for Spanish-speaking sports fans, and ESPN Magazine – an application for tablets with original sports content. Sportscenter – made and produced in Mexico and televised on ESPN2, continues to raise the bar as the brands flagship news and information show. ESPN is 80 percent owned by ABC, Inc., which is an indirect subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company. The Hearst Corporation holds a 20 percent interest in ESPN. The Walt Disney Company, together with its subsidiaries and affiliates, is a leading diversified international family entertainment and media enterprise with four business segments: media networks, parks and resorts, studio entertainment and consumer products.
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 most pressing 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.
The Walt Disney Company: The Walt Disney Company, together with its subsidiaries and affiliates, is a leading diversified international entertainment and media enterprise with the following business segments: media networks, parks and resorts, studio entertainment, consumer products and interactive media. Being a good corporate citizen is a time-honored Disney tradition. Through contributions, collaborations with local organizations, in-kind gifts and volunteering, Disney helps to brighten the lives of kids and families in need and strengthen communities around the world. For more information visit, thewaltdisneycompany.com/citizenship or twitter.com/citizendisney.
love.fútbol: love.fútbol creates community soccer fields that act as community centers 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.
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.
Street Soccer Mexico: Street Soccer Mexico is a civil association nonprofit that seeks social reintegration of people who for various reasons live is marginal situations. Using sport as a tool for change, Street Soccer Mexico generates spaces, using street for football to encourage kids to get involved in live experiences through responsibility, leadership and discipline that sport encourages. By staying away from drugs, streets and styles of unhealthy life, this sends a dignified image and at the same time encourages kids to respect themselves.
Deportivo Don Bosco: Since almost 20 years ago, Deportivo Don Bosco Chimalhuacán, has been developing Sports and cultural activities, always benefiting the kids and youth of the community of Transportistas, as well as other neighboring communities. Currently, over 600 youth participate on Deportivo Don Bosco’s activities. By 2020, Deportivo Don Bosco Chimalhuacán seeks to position itself as a reference on community development, continuing to improve its physical structure, and consequently doubling the amount of youth reached.
KaBOOM!: KaBOOM! is the national non-profit dedicated to giving all kids – particularly those growing up in poverty in America – the childhood they deserve filled with balanced and active play, so they can thrive. Since 1996, KaBOOM! has collaborated with partners to build, open or improve nearly 16,300 playgrounds, engaged more than one million volunteers and served 8.1 million kids. KaBOOM! creates great places to play, inspires communities to promote and support play, and works to drive the national discussion about the importance of play in fostering healthy and productive lives. To learn why #playmatters: visit kaboom.org or join the conversation at twitter.com/kaboom or facebook.com/kaboom.