FedEx Express and UEFA Foundation for Children to Deliver All-Girl Player Mascot Line-Up at UEFA Europa League Final
Association of Football Federations of Azerbaijan to Nominate 22 Girls Engaged in Youth Football Programs in Baku
FedEx Express, a subsidiary of FedEx Corp. (NYSE: FDX) and the world’s largest express transportation company and the UEFA Foundation for Children will offer player mascot places to 22 young girls at the forthcoming UEFA Europa League Final in Baku, Azerbaijan.
The mascots will escort the professional players out onto the field at the Baku Olympic Stadium on 29 May 2019. The children have been nominated for the opportunity by the Association of Football Federations of Azerbaijan (AFFA), an organisation actively working to engage young girls in football.
“We’ve worked closely with the UEFA Foundation for Children to shape a long-term collaboration that maximises possibilities for young people through football. As sponsor of the UEFA Europa League, we are delighted to be able to extend support for the work of the Foundation, and of AFFA, by helping to make an all-girl player mascot group a possibility in Baku,” said Brenda McWilliams-Piatek, vice president, Marketing Operations, FedEx Express Europe.
AFFA currently works with 35 schools, engaging children in football activities three times per week. The organisation’s grassroots department runs several initiatives that promote participation among young girls. Coaches from the country’s Women’s League are invited to engage with youth programs and complimentary courses run three times per year to train additional coaches for children’s football.
“Football offers many opportunities for social integration and positive well-being that benefit children, whatever their gender. For many of the girls engaged in our programs, playing football helps to break down barriers by offering inclusion and equality. Choosing these young girls as player mascots for the UEFA Europa League Final makes them visible, on an international stage, and I think the sense of pride will be almost palpable,” said Elkhan Mammadov, general secretary, Association of Football Federations of Azerbaijan.
“Together with FedEx Express we have delivered multiple projects that – under the umbrella of children’s rights - use football as a powerful tool in improving the lives of children. By donating player mascot places to organisations like AFFA, we are offering them a platform to showcase the tremendous headway they are making engaging young girls in football in Azerbaijan,” said Urs Kluser, UEFA Foundation for Children.
FedEx Express has collaborated with the UEFA Foundation for Children to donate player mascot places to youth organisations in host cities of the UEFA Europa League Final, since becoming a sponsor of the competition in 2015.