• Kia celebrates ‘The Return of Football’ with local club Eagle Sports FC
  • Kia donates ‘Give Back Kitbags’ to club players
  • Juan Mata makes surprise call to team Zoom training session

As an official partner of the UEFA Europa League Kia Motors were keen to celebrate the return of football by highlighting the positive impact that amateur football teams have had in their local area, despite being affected by the pandemic themselves.

Kia wanted to show their appreciation to a generous local team that have gone above and beyond for their community. The team were rewarded with a surprise call from two times UEFA Europa League winner Juan Mata, who is currently playing in the UEFA Europa League 2019/20 competition. Kia also arranged for the lucky players of the club to receive their very own ‘Give Back Kitbags’ that they can use for training both at home and when back at the club.

David Hilbert, Marketing Director at Kia Motors (UK) Limited commented: “The return to football for professional clubs has been extremely challenging, it is even more so for amateur clubs.  Amateur football clubs are so important for local communities and have a positive impact, this is one example of this, so to be able to support this initiative is Kia’s way of giving back as well’

The local team that Kia picked to receive the Give Back Kitbags and surprise call were Warrington team, Eagle Sports FC, because of their dedicated fundraising for health care workers.  

In April, the players and staff at the club decided they wanted to raise funds through a 5km challenge. With every player and staff member walking or running 5km they each donated a minimum of £5, many team members completing the challenge on numerous occasions. The club also opened up the challenge to Eagle Sports FC fans. Raising £1,235 in total the club decided to split the money with £620 being donated to Warrington & Halton Hospitals and £615 towards to the running and maintenance of the club.

Warrington dealership Chapelhouse Kia stepped in to individually deliver each Give Back Kitbag. Phil Clay, Chapelhouse Group Operations Director commented, “With a former player of Eagle Sports FC working here at the dealership, when we were given the chance to deliver the kits personally it was an immediate yes. The support for the local hospital that the team have shown has been amazing – especially given their own financial predicament it just shows how pulling together as a community means we can all give something back”

Radio and football presenter Reece Parkinson joined Eagle Sports FC’s Club Secretary Danny Nixon to talk through what they had achieved before joining the team Zoom training session. The team were then surprised when midfielder Juan Mata joined the call, congratulating the team on their fund raising and wishing them luck when retraining starts.

Eagle Sports FC who play in the Cheshire Football League rely heavily on funds generated on match days as well as regular income from players, sponsors and supporters during the football season. With the restrictions put in place by lockdown, their season was forced to end early, meaning they missed out on crucial opportunities to secure funds that help maintain and drive the club forward each season.