Chevrolet and Manchester United turn a dump ground into a world class football pitch in Kolkata
As part of GM India’s CSR initiative, Chevrolet today inaugurated the renovated Rebecca Belilious Sports Ground at the Rebecca Belilious English Institution. This is part of Chevrolet’s commitment to demonstrating that where there is play, there’s beautiful possibilities.
The outdoor sports pitch – located at Tikiapara, Howrah, in Kolkata – will serve as a safe place for children and the local community to play. The pitch will also be used as a venue for local events and sports matches.
“The previous pitch was nothing but an open space covered in dirt and mud. The children of Tikiapara had no option but to play on it, despite its poor and dilapidated condition,” said P. Balendran, Vice President, General Motors India. “Chevrolet saw a place that could be completely rebuilt to allow the students to turn their lives around, encourage them to stay in school and unlock the potential for their future.”
As part of today’s festivities, Manchester United Legend Mikael Silvestre shared personal insights about his own journey on and off the field and how play has served a key role throughout his life. He was joined by Sandip Dutta, trustee of the land; Mamoon, the founder of the school; and a host of other dignitaries and well-wishers.
The football pitch was revitalized for Slum Soccer, an organization that uses football to transcend race, religion, language and gender to bring about a change in the lives of street dwellers.
“With this pitch, we will be reaching out to the most under-served children and youth of Kolkata," said Dr. Abhijeet Barse, CEO of Slum Soccer. “Throughout the years, we have seen the impact and positive change that football and play can have on a child. Our partnership with Chevrolet will bring new possibilities to the Tikiapara community.”
Coinciding with today’s ceremony, Chevrolet and Coaches Across Continents (CAC) created a tailored program for local football coaches to learn more about how the sport can be used to tackle and resolve life’s many challenges. The CAC staffers who trained the new coaches will remain involved in the community by providing ongoing remote support, with curriculum tailored to suit the local area.
To mark the occasion Chevrolet also donated 250 One World Futbols to the Rebecca Belilious English Institution. Chevrolet is the founding sponsor of One World Play Project, creator of the ultra-durable One World Futbol, which can withstand the most rugged conditions – never needing a pump or going flat, even when punctured. As a part of a three-year partnership with One World Play Project, Chevrolet has pledged to support the donation and distribution of 1.5 million Chevrolet-branded One World Futbols to youth in war-stricken zones, refugee camps, disaster areas, and other underprivileged communities around the world.
Chevrolet and the One World Play Project have delivered more than 28,000 of the ultra-durable footballs across the India. The donations have supported initiatives that are focused on health and wellness, community building, gender equality, HIV/AIDS, education and conflict resolution. In April, the partners also provided footballs to the Government School in Navlakh Umbre as a part of the larger Chevrolet Day of Play global initiative that aimed to bring positive changes in local communities.
In addition, Chevrolet supported football pitch renovations in Bangkok (Thailand), Bandung (Indonesia), Chicago (USA) and Hammanskraal (South Africa) in 2014. The global automotive brand is planning several additional announcements and fan engagements around the world this year as part of its sponsorship of Manchester United and partnership with the One World Play Project.
To see inspirational stories of how Chevrolet has transformed lives through play, visit us online atwww.ChevroletFC.com, like us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ChevroletFC, follow us on Twitter @ChevroletFC or subscribe to our YouTube channel here.
Founded in 1911 in Detroit, Chevrolet is now one of the world's largest car brands, doing business in more than 115 countries and selling around 4.8 million cars and trucks a year. Chevrolet provides customers with fuel-efficient vehicles that feature engaging performance, design that makes the heart beat, passive and active safety features and easy-to-use technology, all at a value. The Chevrolet portfolio in India includes the Spark, Beat, Chevrolet SAIL, SAIL Hatchback, Cruze, Tavera, Chevrolet Enjoy and Captiva. More information on Chevrolet models can be found here.
About Slum Soccer
Slum Soccer is a Nagpur, Maharashtra-based non-profit organisation which works with an objective of reaching out to and developing football in the grassroots. Since 2000, this organisation has been using football – the beautiful game which is unique yet a perfect vehicle that transcends race, religion, language and gender to bring about a change in the lives of underprivileged. For more information on Slum Soccer, please call 0712-2556865 or visit us here.
About Manchester United
Manchester United is one of the most popular and successful sports teams in the world, playing one of the most popular spectator sports on Earth. Through our 136-year heritage, we have won 62 trophies, enabling us to develop the world’s leading sports brand and a global community of 659 million followers. Our large, passionate community provides Manchester United with a worldwide platform to generate significant revenue from multiple sources, including sponsorship, merchandising, product licensing, new media & mobile, broadcasting and match day.
About One World Play Project
One World Play Project makes, sells and distributes products and services to enable play around the world, especially for those living in the harshest environments where play is nearly non-existent. The company is a B-Corporation, harnessing the power of business to ignite social change. Collaborating with sponsors, organizations and individuals, One World Play Project works to support, enable and expand the transformative power of play in all its forms, anywhere and everywhere.
To date, One World Play Project has brought the power of play to more than 35 million youth worldwide. One World Play Project is headquartered in Berkeley, California, with regional offices in Asia, South America and Africa – and distribution centers in Fremont, California, and Voerde, Germany. For more information about One World Play Project, visit here.