Club supports Mandela celebration

by Sunderland AFC

Sunderland AFC marks Nelson Mandela International Day.

Sunderland AFC is giving its backing to the fourth Nelson Mandela International Day, which takes place today.

The United Nations recognise July 18, Mandela’s birthday, as a day of celebration, symbolising the ground-breaking achievements of Mr Mandela. A wide range of initiatives will take place around the world, aimed at promoting his legacy.

Sunderland AFC became the first football club to link up with the Nelson Mandela Foundation, a not-for-profit organisation established in 1999 to support the former South African Presidents’ ongoing engagement in promoting his legacy of social justice outside the purely political arena following his retirement.

As a Legacy Advocate for the Nelson Mandela Foundation, the club is helping to promote the former South African President’s legacy, through the global reach of the Barclays Premier League.  At the same Sunderland AFC is utilising the organisation's knowledge and expertise to continue to raise greater awareness of social issues, such as inclusion and diversity.

As part of its fundraising commitment, SAFC held a special Nelson Mandela Day at the Stadium of Light last season, which included players warming up in bespoke t-shirts and auctioning match worn shirts from the game.  A special Gala Dinner is also set to take place later in the year.

Fans can give their backing to the Nelson Mandela Foundation by texting their support with a £5 donation.  Simply  text ‘SAFC67 £5’ to 70070 to make a donation.

SAFC commercial director Gary Hutchinson said: “Sunderland AFC is hugely proud of its partnership with the Nelson Mandela Foundation - a first in world football. Nelson Mandela International Day is an opportunity for people around the world to come together and celebrate the unique achievements of this truly amazing man. We are honoured to play our part and are looking forward to working with the Foundation over the next twelve months on a range of initiatives.”

Over the past 12 months, Sunderland AFC has continued to forge strong links with the African continent. In June the club announced the BFS Group Limited, which is headquartered in South Africa as its new principal partner from season 2013-14. 

It also committed to a ground-breaking football partnership with the country of Tanzania which will see Sunderland AFC lend its expertise to the creation of a football academy programme in the country, which will be developed by global electricity giant, Symbion Power.

SAFC also has a partnership with top Ghanaian football club, Asante Kotoko, which has an astounding eight million fans.