UEFA foundation for Children and FedEx, in conjunction with the Red Deporte y Cooperación, a Madrid-based non-profit organisation and part of the streetfootballworld network, have all joined forces to open a community pitch in Canada Real Galiana, Madrid
Believed to be Europe’s largest shanty town, it is a mere 15-minute drive from Madrid city centre. It is in stark contrast to the wealth, elegance and sophistication of nearby Madrid, a city voted among the most liveable in the world.
Canada Real Galiana is home to 30,000 people and is completely devoid of any public services – no pavements, schools, sewage or drainage systems. Many of its residents are long-standing, legal immigrants from Portugal, Romania, Morocco or South America.
Carlos Marchena, the former Spain international and European and world champion, took part in Saturday’s inauguration ceremony and also joined a training session on the new pitch, to the delight of all the children that where present.
The new environmentally sustainable pitch and was built in less than a week and is fully equipped with floodlighting and changing facilities, also its innovative and modular design means it will have low running costs.
FedEx, one the world’s largest express transportation company provided financial assistance to the project, as part of its FedEx Cares programme, which has set aside $200m aimed at creating opportunities in over 200 communities by 2020.
Brenda McWilliams-Piatek, vice-president of marketing for FedEx Express Europe siad: “At FedEx, we are absolutely committed to investing socially in the markets where we operate, and this project is an excellent example from our global ‘delivering for good’ programme of how we use our resources and network to connect local communities with access to facilities that would otherwise be out of their reach.”