Arsenal legend Martin Keown has returned from a visit to Ethiopia to support club partner Dashen Brewery’s work to develop grassroots football in the country.
As part of the trip, Martin travelled to Gondar in northern Ethiopia, where he met and helped coach some of the children from local football projects. Alongside the Mayor and Deputy CEO of Dashen Brewery, Martin then helped to announce Dashen Brewery’s donation of almost £20,000 to support construction of low-cost housing in the area and renovations to an existing football pitch in the local area.
Martin then visited the Simien Mountains National Park, home of Dashen Mountain, which forms Dashen Brewery’s company logo. He then visited the Dashen Brewery plant in Gondar to meet some of the plant workers and see how Dashen Beer is produced.
Martin also spent part of his trip in Ethiopia’s capital, Addis Ababa coaching children from other grassroots football projects supported by Dashen Brewery. He also spoke with some of the coaches to pass on useful training and playing tips to help their sessions going forward.
Martin said: “It is great to see the commitment that Dashen Brewery is making to local communities in Ethiopia, particularly towards grassroots football development. It’s important to give both young children and coaches the platform to perform and I’m glad I was able to play a small part in the work that Arsenal and Dashen Brewery are doing to promote grassroots football in Ethiopia.”
Martin is the second Arsenal legend to visit Ethiopia in six months. In December 2015, Ray Parlour visited the country to encourage grassroots football by meeting young children from various football projects in Addis Ababa.
Devin Hainsworth, Chief Executive Officer of Dashen Brewery, said: “As we continue to run coaching sessions and bring Arsenal legends and coaches to Ethiopia, we hope we can play our small part in the development of football in the country together with Arsenal.”
In September 2015, Arsenal became the first Premier League side to secure a regional partnership in Ethiopia after announcing Dashen Brewery as its Official Beer Partner in the country. The partnership helps help Arsenal get closer to its fans in Ethiopia with the focus on supporting Dashen Breweries' community based initiatives.
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