(PARIS/SEOUL) May 20, 2022 – Kia Corporation and Rafa Nadal have collaborated to launch ‘Kia Clubhouse,’ a new initiative aimed at making tennis more accessible and inspiring the next generation of tennis fans. The inaugural event took place in Paris, France with 18 children from the local organization Fête le Mur and six children from the grassroots tennis club Gennevillois. In line with Kia’s ethos of ‘Movement That Inspires,’ the children were chauffeured in a fleet of Kia vehicles, including the company’s first dedicated all-electric model EV6 and the brand’s most popular SUV model Sportage.
On arrival, the children were presented with a welcome pack that includes tennis equipment from Babolat as a special keepsake to empower a lifelong love for the game. Rafa Nadal made a surprise appearance to personally welcome the children and share what inspired him to play the game.
The 21-time Grand Slam champion and Kia global brand ambassador said, “The Rafa Nadal Foundation has done a lot of work to support children who need it the most, and we have witnessed the impact that tennis and sports can have on children’s education. So, I’m really happy to partner with Kia on Kia Clubhouse to make tennis more accessible to more children around the world. I truly hope this initiative will inspire others to do the same.”
As part of the Kia Clubhouse experience, the children took part in a number of activities, including a skills and tricks masterclass hosted by French freestyle player Ben Simonet and a series of challenges led by tennis professional, Alizé Lim. The children also put their new skills to test through various trials, challenges, and matches, and wrapped up the day with a friendly tournament and an award ceremony.
The Kia Clubhouse initiative will travel internationally starting next year, replicating this memorable experience in major tennis-loving cities around the world.
Artur Martins, Senior Vice President and Head of Kia’s Global Brand and Customer Experience Division, said, “At Kia, we believe in empowering people to make the most out of their lives. Kia Clubhouse was developed to provide a space for children who may otherwise have been unable to access the game of tennis. Together with Rafa Nadal, we hope to inspire children from all walks of life to get out there and play.”
Fête le Mur le Mur is a non-profit organization based in Paris which supports over 13,000 disadvantaged children in more than 76 venues with a focus on sports, in France and French overseas territories. It partners with leading equipment provider Babolat and uses sports, particularly tennis, as a full support path into professional lives and social integration.