The Red Bulls and New York Police Department Soccer Team’s annual “Football For Children – Breaking Borders” program is set to travel to the Colombian cities of Medellin and Manizales between May 16 and 24.
With the support of the Consulate of Colombia in New York City, the National Police of Colombia, the United States’ Embassy in Bogotá and the Centro Colombo Americano, the program will run six soccer clinics in both cities, and will distribute donations of clothing and sports equipment to underprivileged children. Included in the donations are soccer balls, shirts, and soccer shorts and shoes.
“We are in the fifth year of our program and we are very surprised how it continues to grow,” Red Bulls Senior Director of Hispanic Communications Ernesto Motta said. “We are proud that Lieutenant Robert Mejia and the NYPD Soccer team continue to be a part of this important project. I want to thank the various organizations and entities that make possible the transport and mobilization of our group in Colombia.”
The National Police of Colombia will provide land and air transportation of members of the program between Medellin and Manizales. Colonel Jorge Gomez of the National Police was instrumental in planning the event, as were the efforts of Centro Colombo Americano. Avianca, which has assisted the group with transportation without any charge since 2009, is again also donating to the cause.
"We are very pleased to continue supporting the work of Red Bulls and the NYPD Soccer Team,” said Director of Avianca Bogotá Jamie Londono. “Being part of this work, and having children receive these gifts gives me great pride, and we are happy to do it.”
Four clinics will be held in Medellin while two will be held in Manizales, the birthplace of Red Bulls striker Juan Agudelo, where the program also visited in 2009. The four clinics in Medellin will be held on four separate fields, all of which are located in areas that have been subject to violence and poverty in the past.
"I am very pleased that this important group is traveling to my hometown of Manizales and putting on these clinics,” Agudelo said. “I think it’s wonderful that we’re able to offer something to the children who don’t have these resources. I hope to be, for them, a good example so they can see that through sports they can find a different path in their lives.”
Check back to NewYorkRedBulls.com for periodic updates from the trip.