On Monday 15 October, Nike and the All Whites will launch ‘Nike Football in the Gap’ a pop-up football project right in the heart of Christchurch CBD.
‘Nike Football in the Gap’ is a collaborative project that transforms a vacant red‐zone space into a football pitch, open to anyone and everyone.
Local Cantabrian and All White, Ben Sigmund will officially launch the initiative and hand it over to the City at 3:30pm this Monday 15 October where it will be available for the public for some couple of months. The launch coincides with the first All Whites game in Christchurch since the quake, with the team taking on Tahiti in a World Cup Qualifier on Tuesday16th.
Inspired by the Rebuild Christchurch movement, Nike saw the new space as a way to create something positive and lasting for the local community
‘Nike Football in the Gap’ will give young footballers (and the wider community) a way to take back their city, kick‐
by‐kick, game‐by-‐game; breathing life back into a city that has seen so much devastation. “It’s a great opportunity for us to share our true passion and ongoing support for Football,” says Nike spokesperson, Paul Faulkner
Deon Swiggs of heads Rebuild Christchurch, says there are many positive aspects to the pitch and the energy it will bring back to the central city is one.
“As a city made up of many communities, we need projects like this to help propel us forward. There are many opportunities for corporates like NIKE, GO’s and NGO’s to work together and engage with our communities as we rebuild.”
‘There’s still much to do in the suburbs and we hope that having more spaces for Christchurch people to use in the inner city while the suburban facilities are being repaired and rebuilt, will help bring back energy into the city and help to remind us why we love Christchurch.”
The five-aside pitch is approximately 27.5 by 18.15 metres and will stay in place in Hereford Street for several months, opposite the recently reopened Ibis Hotel. It is currently in the red zone but CERA will move the red zone cordon on Monday and allow public assess right up to Colombo Street from Hereford Street.
Sigmund will be joined by teammates Kosta Barbarouses, Marco Rojas and other members of the Canterbury football and futsal community at the launch, where public is invited to join the 5-a-side knockout tournament. There are some fantastic prizes up for grabs including tickets to the All Whites vs Tahiti World Cup Qualifier game.
The site before:
The site Thursday:
The site sunday: Full of work
And on the opening day: Was great to see so many young people engaged in the CBD active and smiling.