Chemical manufacturer Chemoxy is backing promising young footballer Katie Kinlan – of Middlesbrough Ladies FC – in a move designed to highlight opportunities for women in Teesside.
The Boro-based firm has signed a sponsorship deal to support the 23-year-old midfielder for the 2017-18 season.
Former Middlesbrough College student Katie, who has played for the club in its under-16s and Ladies first team for more than ten years, will now sport Chemoxy’s logo on her number 10 shirt.
The deal provides funding towards travel to and from matches, training resources, and a tracksuit.
Katie, who is also studying towards a BSc Learning Disability Nursing Degree, said: “For a Middlesbrough company like Chemoxy to sponsor me is brilliant as it shows women’s football is recognised within the community.
“I fell in love with football at the age of four and it’s given me so many opportunities. For instance, playing for Middlesbrough Ladies has taken me to North Korea and last year we were promoted into the Women’s Premier League.
“I found the academic side of school difficult, but football gave me the drive and determination to never give up on what I want to achieve.
“I speak to the younger ladies coming through the club to show them what they can achieve.”
Chemoxy’s sponsorship is just one part of a responsibility towards the community the firm takes very seriously.
The idea followed Plan International’s widely publicised report which claimed young women in Middlesbrough had among the worst quality of life of their peers in England and Wales.
Commercial director Paula Tinkler explained: “We’re passionate about encouraging young women here on Teesside, and showing the opportunities open to them.
“Sponsoring Katie is important for us as we want to counter the kind of message that coverage of Plan International’s report showed.
“It’s vital that young women in Teesside understand they don’t have to leave the region to achieve in life. Having role models here is important in helping to achieve that.”
Chemoxy’s community work extends to participating in the Children Challenging Industry programme – which uses industrial contexts to further children’s experience of science.
The firm’s ‘Community Liaison Panel’ – comprised of staff, and representatives from Middlesbrough Council, the environment agency and local schools – facilitates relationship building in Middlesbrough and tackles important social issues.
Katie added: “It means a lot to have Chemoxy on my shirt, and the sponsorship is a really big helping hand to me and the club.
“We need to find our own funding, and that’s why finding Middlesbrough companies to support us is so valuable.”