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Sports and education complex ESC Madrid unveiled

ESC Madrid

LaLiga, the National Basketball Association (NBA) and T3N Sport & Investment, accompanied by regional and local officials, have unveiled ESC Madrid – the sports and education complex where the two professional leagues will coexist in Madrid.

The multi-disciplinary complex, which has entered the final stage of its 42,000-metre square build, is at the forefront of sports development in Spain thanks to a long-term agreement by LaLiga and the NBA with T3N Sport & Investment, a consulting firm specialising in investment, training and sports development, for the creation of similar complexes in Spain.

ESC Madrid will have football pitches, a basketball court, a high-performance gym, swimming pool, dining room, games rooms, library and residential facilities for 450 athletes, among other amenities.

Furthermore, it will have an international school and training classrooms where secondary, international and American baccalaureate, and postgraduate courses will be taught. Part of the LaLiga Business School will also be moved there and it will act as the headquarters of the country’s first NBA Basketball School – the basketball development programme with enrolment open to boys and girls aged between 6 and 18 years.

“At LaLiga we firmly believe in the importance of training in sport, both technical and educational. This project, in partnership with the NBA and T3N Sports & Investment, will strengthen this commitment that we embarked on with our sports schools and the LaLiga Business School, among other projects, and which will have a new space for their development at ESC Madrid,” LaLiga President Javier Tebas assured.

“We’re very excited and keen to begin our activity at ESC Madrid, and we’re delighted to be sharing space and generating synergies with LaLiga. Creating spaces such as the future NBA School where we can make basketball grow with grassroots training and where local talent can develop under the best possible conditions is fundamental for the NBA,” said Chus Bueno, vice-president of basketball operations and head of Spain at NBA EMEA.

ESC Madrid aims to become a ground-breaking model for the sports sector in the country, capable of hosting all types of sporting and training projects – both national and international – in a single space. Furthermore, it will facilitate the generation of joint opportunities in sports and training projects, branding actions, commercial strategies and all manner of events.

“This is a special project, a strategic alliance with LaLiga and the NBA that will turn these complexes into a global benchmark for sport and education, building a global platform that generates synergies and opportunities for young people from around the world,” T3N Sport & Investment CEO Kiyomi Cerezo said.

As well as for clubs and partners, the project will also be made available to the entire sports and education industry to offer a 360-degree service, where education, sport and co-living are integrated into a single complex. In addition, it will serve as a technology hub for all companies from the innovation industry for the development of projects to improve sporting performance.

Manchester United commit to a renewable future

Renewable energy

With a shared mission of tackling climate change and creating a cleaner world, Manchester United have announced the renewal of their global partnership with Renewable Energy Group, Inc. – a leading producer of renewable fuels.

The partnership reinforces the Red Devil’s commitment to environmental sustainability through working together with Renewable Energy Group to raise awareness of the company’s biofuel products and to encourage positive environmental change among Manchester United’s global fanbase and beyond.

As one of the first football clubs in the world to launch a carbon reduction programme in 2008, Manchester United have reduced annual emissions from its operations by 2,700 tonnes since then. The club will be seeking to build on this record through its new partnership with Renewable Energy Group.

Manchester United Chief Operating Officer Collette Roche acknowledged the importance of Manchester United being a leader in environmental awareness and sustainability of the planet.

“As one of the most popular sports teams in the world, the club has a powerful platform to help raise awareness of how people can contribute towards a cleaner, more sustainable future for our planet,” she said.

“We are already an environmental leader among football clubs after 12 consecutive years of reduction in our greenhouse gas emissions. We will now work with Renewable Energy Group to explore ways of shrinking our carbon footprint further. Together, we can make a difference in the fight against climate change, and the goal of developing a greener, cleaner planet.”

Renewable Energy Group President and Chief Executive Officer Cynthia Warner spoke about the significance of enhancing awareness through the partnership with United.

“As a leading producer of cleaner, bio-based diesel, it’s a natural fit for Renewable Energy Group to partner with another sustainability-minded leader like Manchester United,” she said.

“Together, alongside Manchester United, we will amplify our simple-to-adopt opportunities for individuals and organisations to reduce carbon now.”

Football Coaches Australia presents ‘The Football Coaching Life Podcast’ S2 Ep 5 with Gary Cole interviewing Catherine Cannuli

Football Life Podcast Cannuli

Catherine Cannuli has recently been appointed as Head Coach of the W-League team at Western Sydney Wanderers after spending a number of years as Assistant Coach after she finished up her playing career at the Club.

Cath had a terrific playing career as a junior and senior player, becoming a 15-year-old first-team player at Marconi before also playing W-League football with Sydney FC and Brisbane Roar, as well as receiving four caps for the Matildas.

Her coaching career began at Southern Districts with the Raiders before quickly adding the U14’s and eventually the Technical Director role. Catherine is open in discussing how great the Association have been in helping her grow and develop as a coach and in allowing her to juggle her coaching role at WSW whilst learning to understand the demands of full-time coaching.

We discuss the impact that Alen Stajcic has had on her career as both a player and a coach as well as how he helped her ‘fall back in love with the game’ after she walked away from the game and the national junior teams.

In her role as TD with Southern Districts she is focused on helping players love the game first as well as trying to fit in more games and training sessions to provide more learning opportunities for players and coaches.

It becomes very evident that Catherine wants to leave a legacy for the W-League program at Wanderers where all players, coaches and staff are full-time.

Please join me in sharing Catherine Cannuli’s Football Coaching Life.

Australian Clem Morfuni becomes owner of Swindon Town FC

Swindon Town Morfuni

Australian Clem Morfuni has become the majority stakeholder in League Two side Swindon Town FC, with an ambition of bringing in a new era to the club.

The Robins, who were relegated from League One last season and have just nine senior players contracted – including Australian Jordan Lyden – will be backed by Morfuni for the foreseeable future with the upcoming League Two campaign less than three weeks away.

Morfuni, a previous minority stakeholder in the side, founded his plumbing business Axis Services Group in Australia in 1994. It is now a globally operating business with a financial turnover of $200 million each year.

The acquisition has also signalled the end of a lengthy ownership battle for the League Two club who have fought recent financial hardships. Moreover, the club’s fans have rejoiced across social media at the sight of Morfuni’s long-awaited arrival.

In a club statement, Morfuni acknowledged the importance of having a ‘fans first’ philosophy on and off the field.

“I want to tell the fans that you’ve got your club back, a football club should be the heartbeat of the town and the local community and should be something that the whole town and surrounding communities takes great pride in,” he said.

“Without fans you don’t have a club and I want to thank every supporter (many who I have got to know personally) who have fought for their club and helped me to gain control. I know I am indebted to you and will work hard to make this club a club all our fans can be proud of.

“Last season we came last in the football league in terms of fan engagement; this season I aim to come first.”

Morfuni’s takeover of the club has ushered in a new contingent of executive and technical staff, with arrivals including Swindon Town Supporters Trust board member Rob Angus as club CEO and Ben Chorley and Ben Garner as the club’s Director of Football and Head Coach respectively.

In addition, Morfuni spoke on the significance of building a youthful side, something which bodes well for young Australians seeking a pathway into European football.

“I want a young, forward thinking, vibrant club. I want the average age of the team to come down, that doesn’t mean every player will be young because you need a balance, but I want a young side that plays an exciting style of football and create a club where top young players want to join because of the environment, the opportunities they will be given,” he said.

Morfuni’s full statement can be read here.

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