Shell and Pelé Unveil First Football Pitch to be Powered by Players' Footsteps

Pitch set to inspire next generation of scientists to tackle the global energy challenge

RIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil, Sept. 10, 2014 /CNW/ - Brazilian football legend Pelé today helped Shell shine a light on the world's energy future by unveiling a first-of-its-kind player-powered community football pitch in the heart of a Rio de Janeiro favela.

As a real-world example that ideas can come from anywhere, Shell has used the invention of a young entrepreneur to solve a challenge for the Morro da Mineira community. The football pitch, a key part of life for favela residents, was refurbished by Shell using 200 high-tech, underground tiles that capture kinetic energy created by the movement of the players. This energy is then stored and combined with the power generated by solar panels next to the pitch to convert into renewable electricity for the new floodlights, giving everyone in the favela, and especially young people, a safe and secure community space at night.

André Araujo, Shell Brazil Country Chair, said: "By 2050, the world will be using 75 per cent more energy than it does now. Meeting that extra demand will require a set of energy sources - and a new generation of scientists and engineers with the passion, ideas and innovation to develop it."

Mr Araujo also explained: "The pitch proves the potential and power when scientists and entrepreneurs focus their efforts to develop creative and innovative energy solutions. By tapping into the world's passion and interest in football, we aim to capture the attention of youngsters around the world so they think differently about energy and the opportunity of science studies and careers."  

Pelé who joined Shell to officially open the pitch, said: "Football is Brazil's biggest passion and the sport has gone through so much technological innovation since the last time I played. This new pitch shows the extraordinary things possible when science and sport come together. The Morro da Mineira community will now be able to use this sports facility as a safe gathering place - all thanks to the floodlights powered by the community's football players."

The Morro da Mineira project is part of the Shell #makethefuture programme, which aims to inspire young people and entrepreneurs to look at science and engineering as a career choice, and in particular use their minds to develop energy solutions for the future of the planet. For more than 30 years, the international Shell LiveWIRE programme, alongside other Shell science, education and innovation programmes, has been a catalyst for young entrepreneurs and students to develop enterprising ideas into viable and sustainable businesses. The kinetic technology used at this football pitch has been developed by a grant recipient of the UK Shell LiveWIRE.

Laurence Kemball-Cook, Pavegen founder and CEO and Shell LiveWIRE UK Young Entrepreneur of the Year Finalist in 2011, said: "Having received support from Shell to develop my vision, I'm lucky enough to now use my ideas to meet the energy challenge. This new football pitch is an exciting example that every child in a classroom can understand and see first-hand the vital role technology and innovation play in shaping our planet not only now, but in the future."

The Morro da Mineira project illustrates how creative ideas delivered through committed partnerships can shape neighbourhoods and transform communities.

Pedro Veiga, coordinator of the Rio+Social programme of the Instituto Pereira Passos (IPP) added: "To have a project like this on our doorstep will make a real difference to Morro da Mineira. Until it was redeveloped by Shell, the football pitch was largely unusable and many of our young people were being forced to play in the streets. You never know, this example of innovation might even inspire some of the kids to dream of being the next Isaac Newton!"

Shell believes that in the power of people's ingenuity lie the answers to tomorrow's challenges and that by bringing people together, people can #makethefuture today. For more surprising examples of science in action and to hear from inspired young scientists from around the world visit YouTube.com/shellletsgo.

Notes to Editor: 

The press materials below can be downloaded here (http://isbx.it/2085d):

  • Football pitch technical fact sheet
  • Morro da Mineira fact sheet
  • Shell Brazil fact sheet
  • Shell LiveWIRE fact sheet
  • Still photography of the pitch - prior to and following refurbishment
  • Video b-roll
  • Biographies of Pelé, Andre Araujo, Laurence Kemball-Cook and Pedro Veiga

Royal Dutch Shell plc 

Royal Dutch Shell plc is incorporated in England and Wales, has its headquarters in The Hague and is listed on the London, Amsterdam, and New York stock exchanges. Shell companies have operations in more than 70 countries and territories with businesses including oil and gas exploration and production; production and marketing of liquefied natural gas and gas to liquids; manufacturing, marketing and shipping of oil products and chemicals and renewable energy projects. For further information, visit http://www.shell.com.

SOURCE: Royal Dutch Shell PLC

For further information: MEDIA ENQUIRIES: Shell Brazil Media Relations: Glauco Paiva - Gerente de Relações com a Mídia / Media Relations Manager, glauco.paiva@shell.com, +55-(21)-3984-7413, +55-(21)-99217-4249; Edelman Significa Media Relations: Raquel Vitorino, raquel.vitorino@edelmansignifica.com, +55-(11)-3066-7772; Susana Byun, susana.byun@edelmansignifica.com, +55-(11)-3060-3125; Edelman London Media Relations: Marissa Bushe, marissa.bushe@edelman.com, +44-(0)203-047-2645

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