Roofing manufacturer IKO PLC is helping national amputee football reach new heights and win more fans worldwide after striking a sponsorship deal that will see the elite sport broadcast live for the first time.
IKO has become headline sponsor of the England Amputee Football Association (EAFA) National Football League (EAFL), supporting EAFA throughout 2024, from providing new kit and equipment to live streaming matches. The deal will see the EAFL rebranded as the ‘IKO EAFL’ ahead of the new season, which kicks off at the end of January.
The EAFA provides amputees, people with congenital limb deficiencies and those with limb-affecting disabilities, with the opportunity to play football at grassroots and international level. The EAFL is the primary highlight of the association’s calendar, with teams from prominent clubs, such as Everton, Chelsea and Portsmouth competing. All fixtures for the 2024 season will be played at Reaseheath College, in Nantwich, Cheshire, and broadcast across the EAFA Facebook and YouTube channels.
Owen Coyle Jr, member of the EAFA committee, said:
“This sponsorship injects vital support into the operations and continuation of the EAFL, a cornerstone platform for players across England. By facilitating this league, IKO has helped to ensure a structured and competitive environment for clubs and players to participate, develop their skills and foster a sense of camaraderie within their communities.
“Moreover, live broadcasting of the games – a first-time endeavour made possible by this sponsorship – will amplify the sport’s narrative, showcasing the skill, dedication and passion of the players, while also breaking barriers and raising awareness about the inclusivity and dynamism of amputee football on a global scale.
“In essence, this sponsorship empowers EAFA to nurture homegrown talent through the EAFL while simultaneously propelling the sport onto the international stage, marking a transformative moment in the trajectory of amputee football’s visibility and growth.”
Part of the global IKO Group, IKO PLC is a family-owned manufacturing business, with UK headquarters in Wigan, Greater Manchester. As well as being the market leader in the design and manufacture of roofing, waterproofing and insulation systems, IKO is known in the industry for championing meaningful change across environmental, social and governance (ESG) standards.
This includes a commitment to ‘protecting what matters’ and creating a lasting legacy for both colleagues and the communities that surround its manufacturing sites. For almost 20 years, IKO has run a successful Fix That Hut scheme, donating waterproofing materials to repair roofs of buildings, such as village halls and scout huts, to preserve and restore meeting places to the benefit of future generations.
It also has established strong ties with local sports and community clubs, including Shevington Sharks Rugby Club, and is a proud patron of Wigan Youth Zone, supporting young people to develop their art skills.
“People sit at the heart of everything we do at IKO and we are always striving to positively impact the communities that we work and live in,” said Anthony Carlyle, Group Managing Director at IKO PLC.
“EAFA, with its dedication to inclusivity, sense of community, holistic support and enduring team spirit – combined with its deeply ambitious vision for a brighter future – closely aligns with our values, making it a perfect fit for forging a partnership.
“IKO is honoured to enable EAFA to continue its invaluable work, invest in players and improve accessibility for fans. Not only will this funding help to provide teams nationally with a safe and supportive space to socialise and play their beloved sport but will further elevate amputee football as an elite sport by giving it the platform it deserves.
“We look forward to cheering the teams on from the stands and on screen in what we hope will be a fantastic 2024 season.”
The first live broadcast of EAFA fixtures will take place on 27.01.2024.