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June 14, 2023
Let’s get something out of the way first. Yes, that’s Louis Saha. Yes, we were a little bit starstruck. Yes, it fulfilled a lifelong dream to meet him in person. Anyway, back to the game.
The stage: the Britannia Leisure Centre in London. The aim: to bring together pro athletes from
Axis Stars and Sokito Ambassadors to raise awareness around the missions of both companies. A chance for us to rally a fantastic bunch of celebrated athletes to try out our Devista and Devista Vegan boots. Putting them through their paces and learning a bit about the state of
sustainability in football.
Before we introduce the teams, you’ll need to know a bit about Axis Stars.
Committed to creating a safer environment for pro athletes, their aim is to empower pro talent to sustain their careers and, eventually, to set new standards of care in the sports and entertainment industries. Set up
by Louis Saha and Kate Hamer, they set out to ensure that the athletes, and the partners they choose to work with, are all having the best experience possible.
Athletes regularly sign contracts and make deals without knowing the full impact of their decisions, and can often get treated poorly or
taken advantage of because of that. Within women’s football, especially, there is a desperate need for more safety nets. Axis Stars have started a conversation around trust and transparency, one that we all hope spreads out into every industry.
Now, what you’ve been looking forward to: let’s introduce the teams.
So, who did we wrangle to come and represent Sokito?
Captain: Jake Hardy (Sokito’s founder)
Jenna Legg (Watford F.C.)
Andrew Mensah (Comedian)
Emma Beckett (Watford F.C.)
Brandon Thomas-Asante (West Bromwich Albion)
Shauna Vassell (London Beed)
Ibrahim Ugradar (Soccer am & Baiteze)
And who was our competition?
Captain: Louis Saha (Ex-Manchester United and France international)
Rachel Yankey (Ex-Arsenal & England
Christopher Ellis (Musician)
Gaizka Mendieta (Ex-Valencia & Spain International)
Cherno Samba (Ex-Millwall & Gambia international)
Chelsea Weston (Ex-Birmingham City)
Gaëtan Bong (Ex-Nottingham Forest & Cameroon)
Michael Odewale (Comedian)
Matt Jarvis (Ex-West Ham & England)
And the final score? Well, we weren’t really counting…but apparently..according to the ref…Axis stars won. But was it really about winning? Yes. And
we’re pretty sore about losing. However, we’d like to give a hand to everyone that played. Despite it being a match with almost no crowd, no cup and no consequences, everyone put in 110%. And it was a pleasure to watch.
For most of the athletes, this was their first time learning about the impact of the football industry on the environment.
It was a privilege to have such brilliant players together in one space talking about the issues that really matter. Many of them had never been exposed to the problems
that the football industry creates (single-use plastic waste, CO₂ production from travel, water usage) and, quite rightly, they were shocked. Once their eyes were opened, they started asking questions about what the solutions could be. Which is exactly how Sokito was founded.
We know a pair of boots can’t halt climate change. But what we’re trying to do is showcase that you can do things sustainably and still enjoy the game. Comments from the match confirmed this: that the Devistas are instantly comfortable and give you great control on the ball. The
fact that they are the most eco-friendly boots on the market were just an added extra.
Summed up by comedian Michael Odewale:
“It just shows you can be creative when it comes to being environmentally friendly”
Combining sustainability with football is a passion of ours. We want everyone to get involved in our mission to change the game. But it would all be pointless if the boots were crap. Luckily, we have a whole team of professional athletes who can confirm they’re great to wear.
We can’t forget the sponsors of this match either, who helped make it all happen, and who are each pushing to make the world a more sustainable place:
Ocean bottle: Instead of using single use plastic at the event, Ocean bottle kindly gifted us bottles to allow the athletes to
drink water guilt-free. Their design is sleek and simple, but their objective is far from basic. Funding the collection of 11.4kg of plastic waste from waterways for every bottle sold, their aim is to stop the plastic from ever reaching the ocean. Eradicating the problem before it becomes a disaster.
PARK: Supplying the footballs for the match, PARK believes that football can truly change the world. For people and the planet. Their 'one for one' football program sees one ball donated for every PARK ball purchased, with 10k balls being donated across the world already. Not only that, but their balls are carbon negative: removing 5kg of CO₂e from the atmosphere for each one made.
Also thanks to All Sport Insurance and Zedra.
Still on the fence? Well you can get £20 a brand new pair of Devistas when you send in your old boots to be recycled.
June 14, 2023