The foundation celebrates the launch event of its new initiative through the voices of Ferran Torres, Pedri González, Omar Mascarell and Ivana Andrés – four of the campaign’s main protagonists – and a presentation by Marcos Senna and Lars Böcking, members of its board of trustees as President of Honour and President, respectively.
Kick Out Plastic was created with the aim of working toward a more sustainable future by harnessing the power of sport and its unique ability to promote movements and lead transformation. That is what set’s this non-profit apart in its mission to eliminate single-use plastics and drive global change for a better future.
December 10, 2020 is marked as the date of the international online presentation of Kick Out Plastic from the Valencian headquarters of Jacaranda Marketing, co-founding entity of the foundation together with the Leaderbrock Sports agency. Its football players, as well as a good number of athletes from other sports, together with influencers and celebrities from around the world, will each play an active part in the Kick Out Plastic campaign.
Banco Sabadell and Marina Ibiza have also joined the cause since its inception and participate as collaborating entities.
Kick Out Plastic Ambassador and Real Madrid Women’s team captain, Ivana Andrés states:
“That in 2050 there will be more plastics than fish in the sea is a shocking fact, which forces you to take sides and get involved.”
The entire Kick Out Plastic team is aware that it is necessary to take action and raise awareness of the environmental problems that are affecting our planet.
Ferran, Pedri, Omar, Marcos and Ivana united on the same team, defending the same cause. This commitment is the main pillar of Kick Out Plastic, as Lars Böcking, its president, explains:
“Teamwork is essential, from small and large actions, from local to international.”
The sum of the parts is what drives the initiative. Böcking has spent years working towards the ideal of leaving a better world for future generations, and remembers his meeting with Nelson Mandela in South Africa, when the South African leader insisted on “The power of sport to change the world.” In fact, the initiative has the potential to be the most revolutionary campaign to involve professional sportspeople since the pro-equality campaign “Kick Out Racism” was launched in 1993.
Former soccer player and 2008 European champion Marcos Senna, Honorary President of Kick Out Plastic, shares the vision:
“I believe that as a parent I have the obligation to leave a better world and educate my children about caring for the environment.”
For Ferran Torres, a key figure in the Spanish football team and his club of Manchester City claims that “Change is achieved day by day.”
“Manchester City, for example, has already launched several initiatives to promote sustainability. It is clear that much remains to be done and that, little by little, like the rest of society, the world of football is realising the seriousness of the problem we are facing.” Ferran, who joins the press conference from Manchester explains, at the age of 20, the importance he places on caring for nature: “It is true that I have always loved getting lost in the mountains or walking quietly on the beach with the dogs. It’s my way of disconnecting.”
It is a way of life; it is the responsibility and the attitude that we must adopt if we want things to change. Pedri comments:
“Perhaps because I am a Canarian, because my land is of great natural beauty, that I am especially concerned or sensitive to caring for the environment. I grew up surrounded by beaches and mountains. There are places too pretty to be filled with plastic or spoiled by people’s sloppiness.”
The young FC Barcelona figure, who has broken records in his debut season, adds:
“I think my parents raised me well in this regard. At home we have always recycled, when I go to the beach, I often pick up the garbage that I come across and throw it into the bin.”
Ivana Andrés, hailing from Madrid, is clear that athletes can help make a big difference to environmental awareness: “It is not an obligation, it is a lifestyle, something with which I feel very aligned to. It’s not a burden. On the contrary, it makes me feel good.”
All those involved share similar values and a positive ambition to build a future to be proud of. The idea is that the world of sports, also clubs and other related organisations, unite under the banner of concern about pollution, climate change, its consequences, and solutions.
Omar Mascarell, captain of Schalke 04, connects from Gelsenkirchen to insist on the added value of Kick Out Plastic:
“Any initiative of this type is to be applauded. Logically, it is better if it has an international nature. The degradation of the planet and the building environmental problems are not exclusive to a specific country or continent. We all have to get down to business and, in that sense, Germany has been at it for many years. Here they are very sensitive to the subject, and sustainability and recycling are already part of the German DNA.”
Among the charismatic leaders who are involved in the fight for a better planet are Roger Schmidt, German coach, now in charge of PSV Eindhoven; Alfonso Pedraza football player at Villarreal; Unai Nuñez of Athletic Club; Víctor Camarasa of Real Betis; and Joan Jordán of Sevilla FC. Ralph Gunesch, ex-footballer and DAZN commentator; Sascha Bandermann, TV host and former professional tennis player; Bene Mayr, ski freestyler; Sven Kueenle, skier; Patrick Köppchen and Carlos Nevado, hockey and ice skating figures, have also bought into the vision of Kick Out Plastic. Miguel Ángel Vila, a successful Valencian entrepreneur is the Secretary of the foundation. Everyone has an essential role in raising awareness and interest in the cause.
Work with NGOs is another key component of the program. Their experience is vital. Kick Out Plastic will raise funds so that NGOs can continue developing those projects that promote or incorporate sustainability within their communities. The foundation’s grant plan offers other non-profits financial support to encourage and support events or initiatives that promote or embed sustainability.
The Kick Out Plastic project encompasses activities to encourage fans and influence the professional sports industry clubs, authorities, leagues, media, sponsors and suppliers to transform them into a role model in terms of environmental protection.
Among such planned events is the upcoming “Kick Out Plastic All-Stars”, an initiative in which Marcos Senna, Honorary President, would bring together former soccer players and celebrities from various disciplines to form a team of “Sustainable All-Stars”.
For spring 2021, there is a promotional event planned at Marina Ibiza, where a regatta will be organised and attended by Kick Out Plastic ambassadors and other personalities involved with the foundation.