Winners of the Sahara Group #MADwithFootball challenge have emerged, the energy and infrastructure company announced.
They are Doutimiebi Richard-Jack and Daniel Bassey.
Launched in May 2023, the challenge was designed to showcase the importance of football and how the sport could be leveraged to promote youth development and empower communities.
Doutimiebi Richard-Jack and Daniel Bassey would receive customised home jerseys of Arsenal Football Club and Manchester Football Club for sharing the most liked comments during the challenge.
Head, Corporate Communications, Sahara Group, Bethel Obioma, said as part of the initiative, which also sought to promote diversity and inclusion, 22 Sahara Group employees from locations across Africa, Asia, Europe, and the Middle East attended live matches at the Emirates and Old Trafford.
Obioma said the #MADwithFootball challenge required participants to share their ideas on how football can make a difference on the Sahara Group Instagram page (@iamsaharagroup).
“The quality of entries received was outstanding, and it is a testament to the fact that the game is remarkable, unites all fans regardless of their race, religion, and gender, and can be used as a platform for enhancing sustainable development across the globe,”Obioma said.
Doutimiebi Richard-Jack’s comment recorded 41 likes to make her the overall winner.
Reacting to her. selection as the winner, Richard-Jack said, “Football creates positive change by bringing people of different ages, nationalities, gender, ethnicity, language, and backgrounds together in oneness and joy. It is a unifying sport that can bring peace in the midst of crisis.”
Daniel Bassey who placed second with 37 likes on his comment said; “Football is critical in global peace and unity.”
Virtually all comments indicated that football represents a huge vehicle for achieving accelerated global development, peace, and prosperity. The handle @tripdarlyn06 commented that “Sports brings about many positive changes in kids”.
@prince_wale_oyetola said “Football is a game that gives joy and trains one on how to handle defeat”.
Drawing attention to the economic prowess of the game, @iammartyns said; “Football represents a billion-dollar business,” while @thommy_classic said, “Football creates jobs, brings about unity, helps individual health and fitness level while providing leisure for the viewers.”
Speaking on their experiences traveling to see the live matches Roselyn Quansah of So energy, Ghana said “It has always been a dream of mine to watch a live match and I can’t thank Sahara enough for this MAD experience”.
“The energy from the crowd was contagious. Seeing people of different cultures and races united by this amazing game of football was indeed an unforgettable experience, and I am grateful to Sahara Group for giving us this opportunity,” said Zayyad Ibrahim from Sahara Tanzania. Carren Matente of Asharami Energy, Zambia said; “It was my first time seeing a live match and it was truly a dream come true”.
“Through initiatives like the #MADwithFootball challenge, we hope to inspire more football-related programs that will give wings to the aspirations of young players eyeing fruitful careers and above all, harness the enormous potential the game has in the aspect of bringing the world together are truly making a difference in all communities,” Director, Governance and Sustainability, Sahara Group,Ejiro Gray, said.
Gray said all comments received during the challenge would be shared with regional and global football associations, sports administrators, academic institutions, the United Nations, and other relevant stakeholders, to help shape policy on how the round leather game can make a difference.