Guardiola Meets with Footballers of Soweto and Helps to Raise HIV/AIDS Awareness
FC Barcelona coach and former international player, Pep Guardiola joined NIKE Inc., the world’s largest football company, in a visit to the Football Training Center located in the heart of Soweto, South Africa to help inspire young footballers to fulfill their potential.
While at the Football Training Center, Guardiola joined young players at a training and Life Skills session providing encouragement and advice to improve their game and raise HIV / AIDS awareness.
The recently completed center will offer 20,000 young footballers per year the opportunity to develop their talent while also having access to HIV/AIDS education through football life skills programming.
“The Football Training Center is a terrific facility that provides young footballers of Soweto with an opportunity to realize their potential and also learn important life skills including HIV / AIDS prevention,” said Pep Guardiola. “Young players need access to quality facilities and coaching, clearly, the Football Center gives opportunity and hope to young players to achieve their goals in football and in life.”
The center is part of Nike’s commitment to the communities of South Africa, which dates back 15 years. It also follows Nike’s recent partnership with (RED)™ to leverage the power of sport to fight HIV/AIDS in Africa through the Lace Up, Save Lives campaign. When someone buys a pair of (NIKE)RED laces, Nike contributes 100% of its profits to support programs that offer HIV / AIDS education and medication in Africa.
As part of his visit, Guardiola sent text messages of support to players and a motivational message to young footballers in South Africa via Nike’s ambitious Life Center LED installation. The Life Center is one of Johannesburg’s most iconic skyscrapers and the site of Nike’s ambitious installation. Reaching 30 stories or 138 meters into the sky, the building features an interactive LED screen almost half the size of a football pitch. Tying back to the Write the Future campaign, the Nike installation allows fans to submit personal messages to athletes—via Facebook.com/nikefootball.com, Twitter, Facebook, Mxit (South Africa) and QQ (China). Each night messages are selected and transformed into digital player animations that are projected on the screen for the entire city to see.