Earlier this year, as a lead-up to the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil™, World Cup official sponsor Kia and host FIFA teamed up for the “Power of Football” contest which kicked off today with the match between host country Brazil and Croatia. Our mission was simple: to find a story that demonstrated how football could inspire a local community. And what we found was more than just a touching football story in time for the 2014 World Cup, but a true example of inspiration that brought about a surprising change to a small town located on an island country off the coast of South America.
With submissions from all over the world, one story from Nicholas Griffith, a 28-year-old football coach from Trinidad and Tobago, particularly stood out. The Crown Trace community, located in the Trinidad and Tobago islands just off the coast of Venezuela in the Caribbean, has been plagued by social issues such as drugs, teenage pregnancy, and crime that have left the young people of the community neglected.
“I wasn’t much of a football fan,” Nicholas Griffith says. And yet he knew this sport could somehow help get the local youth off the streets in his community. In January 2007, Griffith gathered 18 local youths from Trinidad and Tobago, who came together as Crown Trace FC.
Since then, the youth football club has grown into a tight-knit community of talented local youth that even gave rise to some superstars: David Maloney was selected for the national under-17 team, while Tenesha Palmer became a goalkeeper for the national women’s team.
This past May, Kia traveled to Crown Trace and surprised the team with a visit from Kenwyne Jones, Stern John and Carlos Edwards of the Trinidad and Tobago national team. As winner of the “Power of Football” contest, Nicholas Griffith received a Kia Soul and the team was entirely outfitted by Kia.
The surprising story of this community has not just inspired us, but the rest of the football world. As a proud official sponsor of the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil™, Kia is delighted to honor and recognize the inspiration that comes from the world of sports.
Watch the heart-warming story below: