DMU women's football player features in national ad campaign for quality community pitches

A women’s football team member at De Montfort University Leicester (DMU) has appeared alongside former England star Jermaine Jenas to highlight the benefits of football for young people as part of a recent video campaign by Coca-Cola.

The initiative – titled ‘Ball Games Allowed’ – has seen the soft drinks company pledge £200,000 in order to provide UK youths in disadvantaged areas with access to regular football coaching and quality pitches.

No Ball Games Allowed 3

As part of this campaign Athena Taylor, a third year Forensic Science student at DMU, features prominently in a promotional video produced by Coca-Cola in her hometown of North London.

She said: “The filming experience was so much fun – I got to meet lots of new people including some upcoming actors and it also gave me a new level of confidence to try new things.

“I play for the DMU women's football team and I have done since first year. The experience has really made my time at university enjoyable and some of my best memories involve the girls that I play with.”

Coca-Cola’s promotion ran across all of the company’s multi-pack soft drinks for eight weeks and saw hundreds of match tickets given away for the current Premier League season.   

The campaign is fronted by current footballing pundit Jermaine Jenas who also features in both of the promotional videos released by Coca-Cola films.

The former Spurs midfielder said: “Football gave me everything when I was young – it took me away from anything bad and put a smile on my face, but it’s clear that there is still a lack of football spaces and coaches, particularly in more disadvantaged areas.

“It’s great to see StreetGames and Coca-Cola tackling this head on – they are actively going out there with the aim to create more safe spaces for young adults to play football and train more coaches, who ultimately act as role models to aspiring football players.”

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The initiative was launched after research showed that 30% of aspiring young players in the UK had to have to travel up to an hour away to play on a football field and 49% lived near ‘no ball games’ signs.

It marks the 10th year of Coca-Cola’s partnership with StreetGames – one of the UK’s leading development charities that utilises the power of sport to promote healthier lifestyles and safer communities for vulnerable youths.

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The ‘Ball Games Allowed’ campaign is just the latest in their long-standing relationship, with the duo having previously offered free match day tickets to StreetGames’ beneficiaries as well as a once-in-a-lifetime play on the pitch experience at Chelsea’s Stamford Bridge.

Jane Ashworth, CEO of the StreetGames charity, said: “‘Ball Games Allowed’ will enable us to open up access to facilities in 20 communities, for hundreds of young people where the need is greatest and train over 300 coaches working in our most disadvantaged neighbourhoods.”

Posted on: Thursday 19 September 2019

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