An issue close to home
Pep Guardiola, arguably one of the greatest football managers to ever grace the game is not used to losing.
Born in 1971 in Catalonia, Pep as he is often referred to, knows first-hand about the challenges of growing up with water scarcity.
"Where I’m from, in Catalonia, drought is always a risk.” Pep said on the new partnership announcement.
“The issue of community access to affordable water is very important to me personally." He went on to say.
The issues around water are so close to Pep's heart that he started the Guardiola Sala Foundation earlier this year - initially to help the integration of the least favoured in society through sport, but now it is now turning its attention to water.
"Where I’m from, in Catalonia, drought is always a risk.”
We have covered before the partnership between Manchester City and Xylem and their mission to solve global water challenges, but this latest announcement will see Xylem and the three-time premier league winner work directly together.
"Our Foundation’s first activities, this summer, we're working with children in Barcelona to help educate them on the importance of preserving water." Pep said of the collaboration.
Making his debutAs a player, Pep spent most of his 18-year playing career at Barcelona, but after late spells in Italy and Qatar, he is well accustomed to making a debut count.
The first campaign that will see Xylem and the Guardiola Sala Foundation work together on is the "Water Heroes FC" campaign - in which Guardiola encourages people everywhere to take action and solve water challenges in their “extra time."
See what they did there...
The project aims to enable a network of 100 young leaders to deliver innovative projects that will use football to provide vital water education to 5,000 young people in five cities around the world.
"It is predicted that Spain’s water resources are to decline by up to 40 per cent by the end of the century."
Back in July, Guardiola joined Xylem and EarthEcho International in a series of water education events, at Casal dels Infants, in Barcelona.
The event was designed to encourage students to realise a more sustainable future for Spain’s water resources.
It is predicted that Spain’s water resources are to decline by up to 40 per cent by the end of the century.
Joseph Vesey, Xylem’s chief marketing officer, speaking of the partnership: “Working with a legendary leader like Pep, we aim to unite the public, students, community leaders and NGOs, to take action to solve the water challenges in their communities.”
While there is no doubt Pep's global stardom will help raise awareness of Xylem and City Group's efforts, the partnership has another subtle project that they hope will get everyone talking about water.
Kitting out water
One of the biggest events in the build-up to a new football season is seeing all the new clubs release their new football kits.
However, as the years have gone on, attention has been drawn to the environmental cost of producing a series of new kits year on year.
“This is the world’s first major sports jersey, worn throughout the season, dedicated to a social cause."
In a bid to combat this a number of clubs, such as Chelsea, Juventus and Real Madrid now have their jerseys made of recycled ocean plastics.
But City Group and Xylem are letting water be the inspiration for its new kit this season.
Manchester City FC
Speaking to Aquatech Online, Vesey said: "Our latest milestone is collaborating with Man City and PUMA to launch 2021/2022 ‘Away Kit’ dedicated to raising water awareness. This is the world’s first major sports jersey, worn throughout the season, dedicated to a social cause."
The kit is produced with a special Dope Dye manufacturing process to reduce water consumption and is also a tribute to the Club’s global charity initiative, Cityzens Giving, which uses football to raise awareness of and access to safe water across the world.
Tom Boyle, vice president of global partnerships marketing operations at Manchester City told Aqautech Online: "This season is a particularly special one for our partnership with a water-inspired away kit that, alongside our global water solution and education projects, will mark an exciting new chapter for City’s relationship with Xylem.”
Guardiola has a reputation for coming into a club and very quickly implementing his tactics and philosophy to turn a team's fortunes around.
Maybe that is just what water needs right now, otherwise, we could face relegation and who knows if we will ever come back up again...