Friday 01 March 2013
Sunderland have announced a unique partnership with the Nelson Mandela Foundation. The club have become a legacy advocate for the foundation, which was established in 1999 to support the former South African president's engagement in promoting his legacy of social justice beyond the political arena.
Sunderland aim to promote this legacy through the global reach of the Barclays Premier League while using the foundation's knowledge and expertise to raise awareness of social issues, such as inclusion and diversity.
"Our club prides itself on using its influence to strengthen communities and improve lives"
Across the next 18 months, Sunderland will support fundraising initiatives on behalf of the foundation, including a gala dinner this year. The club has also designated the Barclays Premier League game against Manchester United on 30 March as "Nelson Mandela Day" and the match will celebrate the partnership as well as kick off the initial fundraising drive.
"It is a huge honour for Sunderland AFC to have been selected by the Nelson Mandela Foundation as a Legacy Advocate," said Sunderland CEO Margaret Byrne. "Our football club prides itself on using its influence wherever it can to strengthen communities and improve lives, whether locally in our own region or on a global platform.
"This is also a fantastic opportunity for us to extend the work we have already begun in Africa. We hope that through our association with such a respected and renowned organisation as the Nelson Mandela Foundation we can promote the positive aspects of football around the world, whilst exploring how we can work together on the hugely important issue of eradicating racism not just from within football but society as a whole."
"We are sure that with Sunderland’s stature and history our efforts will get a great boost"
Achmat Dangor, chief executive of the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory, added: "We strive to live up to Nelson Mandela's ethos of inclusivity and reconciliation. We are delighted that Sunderland AFC is joining us on this journey and we are sure that with this club’s stature and history our efforts will get a great boost."
Sunderland's vice-chairman, David Miliband, said: "There is no more iconic figure in the world today than Nelson Mandela. His values of equality, justice and reconciliation are the inspiration to millions and this partnership is a wonderful symbol for Sunderland in Africa and a huge honour for our football club.
"The club's own Foundation has provided a wonderful platform on which we can build and develop community engagement both in our own region and subsequently on a global platform and by partnering with such an iconic organisation we aim to harness expertise and share knowledge, which will be hugely beneficial to us all."
For more information on the Foundation of Light click here