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Kochi to Get Kerala’s First ‘Go The Distance’ Pitch

In Sports
September 14, 2023

Continuing with its commitment towards development of football at the grassroot level in India, and sustainability, leading tyre maker Apollo Tyres Ltd announced its plans for Kerala’s first Go The Distance Pitch, in Kochi. Go the Distance (GTD) Pitch is a sustainable initiative by Apollo Tyres using 100% repurposed rubber from its own tyres to create the playing surface for artificial football pitches.

Apollo Tyres has been working towards a sustainable model to create access to sports and fitness. Apollo Tyres has previously launched pitches across 15 different venues. The first Go the Distance pitch was inaugurated near the North Stand of the iconic Old Trafford in Manchester, home of Apollo Tyres’ partner Manchester United Football Club, laying the foundation for this extraordinary endeavour.

The 16th GTD Pitch would be refurbished with repurposed rubber in Kochi, in partnership with Gamma Football, joining the growing network of such repurposed tyre-based sports facilities across India, The United Kingdom and Thailand. This announcement saw the presence of Ashique Kuruniyan, a prominent member of Indian Senior National Team, and Anas Edathodika, former member of the Indian Senior National Team. Both the players themselves are true Go The Distance (GTD) Heroes, dedicated to promoting grassroots football and ensuring access to sport for all.

Commenting on the plans Vikram Garga, Group Head, Marketing, Asia Pacific, Middle East and Africa, Apollo Tyres Ltd, said “Since the setting up of our first manufacturing unit in Perambra in the 1970s, we have a long emotional connect with Kerala. It is our pleasure to contribute to both grassroots football development and environmental conservation with this GTD Pitch. By collaborating with esteemed athletes like Ashique Kuruniyan and Anas Edathodika, we aim to inspire young athletes from this football-loving state, and communities to engage in sports while being mindful of our planet’s well-being.”

The 16th GTD Pitch in Kochi will enable several integrations such as Apollo Tyres’ United We Play’ programme with Manchester United Soccer School, academy programmes with Hotfut, and an array of player skill development initiatives.

Each of these football pitches use approximately 1,500 car tyres. The tyres are shredded into usable crumb rubber to layer the pitches. Around 7,500 Kgs of crumb rubber has been used in a 160 ft x 90 ft football pitch. This helps create a safer ground and enhances the quality of the pitches.

Remus D Cruz Head- Sports Marketing, Apollo Tyres Limited also attended the event.