(Dubai, United Arab Emirates) February 9, 2023 – Following its successful sponsorship of the 2023 Australian Open, and having recently announced the extension of the brand’s historic partnership with the tournament until 2028, Kia Corporation has launched the second iteration of its Clubhouse program, ‘Kia Clubhouse: Melbourne’ in partnership with Rafa Nadal Foundation during the 2023 Australian Open.
Continuing in the successful footsteps of ‘Kia Clubhouse: Paris,’ opened last May, the project aims to make tennis more accessible for all, inspiring the next generation to take up their rackets.
“Kia Clubhouse was developed to provide a space for children who may otherwise have been unable to access the game of tennis. In its second iteration we’ve done this and more, leaving a court for even more young people to be inspired by tennis, and of course, Rafael Nadal”, commented Artur Martins, Senior Vice President and Head of Kia Global Brand and Customer Experience Division.
To mark the launch of the latest Clubhouse location, Kia gave 18 children from Rafa Nadal Foundation (RNF) in Mallorca and NETS (Nadal Educational Tennis School) India a once-in-a-lifetime Melbourne experience. They were provided with behind-the-scenes access to the 2023 Australian Open and taken on trips around the city (including visits to Melbourne Zoo, a culinary school where they cooked traditional Australian dishes, and a street art tour).
The children also took part in the renovation of two local tennis courts at Maidstone Footscray Tennis Club in central Melbourne.
Having not received any funding in 15 years, the courts were renewed in the Australian Open color schemes, with designs that showcase the glorious moments of Rafael Nadal’s Australian Open victories back in 2009 and 2022.
Following the completion of the work, the RNF children became the first to use the courts during a tennis lesson led by official Tennis Australia coaches and supported by Australian influencer Samuel Begg.
To complete the project, a pair of bespoke art pieces was designed and created by Australian artists JESWRI and Heesco, depicting two of Rafael Nadal’s most iconic rallies from the 2009 and 2022 finals. Displayed at Maidstone Footscray Tennis Club as part of the ‘Rally Gallery’, the RNF children helped to complete the pieces, leaving their mark on the city and helping to inspire the next generation of players.
Rafael Nadal, 22-time Grand Slam champion and Kia global brand ambassador, said, “To see Rafa Nadal Foundation beneficiaries from Spain and India in Melbourne experiencing these once-in-a-lifetime opportunities is incredible, and having a partner like Kia support the work we’re doing to leave a legacy and inspire people to use tennis to impact the rest of their lives is really important. I hope this will inspire more people, not just in Melbourne but across the world.” The Rafa Nadal Foundation was founded back in 2010 with the firm conviction that sport and education are transformative tools to achieve a better world. They accompany children and young people on their way to a quality future. They develop different projects in Spain and India with which they directly contribute to achieving four of the 17 important Sustainable Development Goals: health and well-being, quality education, reduction of inequalities and alliances.