Abbott Park, Ill. and Madrid, Spain—Abbott recently announced it has entered into a three-year agreement to be the Health Sciences and Nutrition Partner of the Real Madrid Football Club and Global Partner of the Real Madrid Foundation—an organization founded by the club to promote the values inherent in sport to children globally.
The partnership will encompass education, sports and social welfare activities in support of at-risk children in 80 countries, as well as nutritional support for the first men’s and women’s and Academy teams and new product innovation and development.
Real Madrid is one of the most successful and recognized sports clubs in the world and is supported by more than 600 million fans globally. In 1997 the club launched the Real Madrid Foundation to support social and cultural integration for at-risk children around the world through sport, through teaching values such as teamwork, respect, collaboration—and physical fitness.
“Football is a universal sport that’s played, watched and loved around the world,” said Daniel Salvadori, executive vice president of Abbott’s nutrition business. “Abbott and The Real Madrid Foundation have the same goal: to nourish children around the world so they can have better health and can achieve their potential. The combination of our collective efforts will enable us to reach more people and have even greater long-lasting impact in the lives of tens of thousands of children around the world.”
Working with local partners, the Real Madrid Foundation identifies and brings together local children in key at-risk areas—usually in remote, rural communities. The schools cover many different activities, ranging from healthy snacks and dental hygiene, to after school programs that involve health education and sports training. Each program includes a local social or environmental activity, such as healthcare facility visits. The children are screened for key health indicators at the beginning of each program and supported nutritionally throughout. The Real Madrid Foundation also runs week-long clinics for children who wish to improve their game with the Real Madrid methodology.
In the Philippines, Real Madrid Foundation created its first social-sports school in Santa Cruz, Davao. Since 2011, more schools were set up in neighboring Davao towns such as Hagonoy, Digos and Padada as well as in Nasugbu, Batangas.
“Through the work of the Real Madrid Foundation, we’re not looking to develop the next footballer, we’re looking to grow the next engineer, scientist or lawyer,” said Emilio Butragueño, director of institutional relations for Real Madrid. “By teaming up with Abbott, a global leader and expert in nutrition, we can support children around the world in living healthier overall.”