News & Events

Thursday 27 October, 2016

Coca-Cola European Partners Champions Unity Through Sport

Coca-Cola European Partners (CCEP), in partnership with Special Olympics Great Britain (SOGB), has once again brought together staff from its local manufacturing sites around Great Britain to participate in the business’ annual Unified Sports® tournament near its factory in Morpeth. The initiative is the third of its kind, and has continued to grow year on year following a successful launch in 2014.

Last week, participants from CCEP joined athletes with intellectual disabilities from local Special Olympics clubs to compete alongside each other in a range of sports including six-a-side football, badminton, boccia, carpet bowls and swimming.

Unified Sports®, an initiative of the Special Olympics charity, is inspired by the simple principle that training and playing together is a quick path to friendship and understanding. Dedicated to promoting social inclusion through shared sports competition experiences, Unified Sports® events bring participants with and without intellectual disabilities together to compete on the same team. 

This year’s Unified Sports tournament saw 30 CCEP employees take part – a team of 10 from each site – alongside over 30 Special Olympics athletes. Gearoid Mitchell, National Volunteer Manager for Special Olympics GB, also joined the festivities, with members from Morpeth Lions Club on hand to help with event logistics and support with refereeing.

CCEP’s involvement with Unified Sports® came from within the very heart of the business, with the idea developed by one of its Morpeth based employees, David Hunt, a Warehouse and Facilities Manager. David has been an employee at CCEP’s Morpeth site since 2008, and is a prevalent member within the Morpeth community, known for his work on various local initiatives. His longstanding commitment to such projects was recently honoured through his selection as one of CCEP’s ‘local heroes’ in its Made Locally campaign across Great Britain, which celebrates the company’s heritage as a local business by focusing on the people behind the brand.

David Hunt, Warehouse and Facilities Manager at Coca-Cola European Partners, Morpeth, said: “Having grown up in the Morpeth area, being involved in local projects has always been really important to me. It was an absolute honour to host such a fantastic event here in Morpeth, and to bring together local communities from across GB through an initiative built upon teamwork, diversity and a mutual love of sport.”

Steve Adams, Director of Supply Chain Group Operations said: “Initiatives such as the Unified Sports tournament highlight the importance of ensuring diversity within the workplace, and we look forward to championing this message further through our ongoing partnership with Unified Sports and Special Olympics. We are truly proud to support the incredible work that Special Olympics does throughout the country and beyond.”

Karen Wallin, CEO of Special Olympics Great Britain added: “The relationship Special Olympics GB has with Coca-Cola European Partners is a very special one and this is one of its annual highlights. To see CCEP staff come together from around the country from its local manufacturing sites to participate in the annual Unified Sports tournament near its factory in Morpeth is an exceptional effort. Having seen its launch in 2014, we are now in its third annual event and we hope to see it for many years to come.”




Notes to Editors

For more information please contact:

Coca-Cola European Partners GB Press Office

01895 844 828 |  

About Coca-Cola European Partners:

Coca-Cola European Partners is the world’s largest independent Coca-Cola bottler. CCEP is the sole licensed bottler for products of The Coca-Cola Company (TCCC) in Andorra, Belgium, France, Germany, Great Britain, Iceland, Luxemburg, Monaco, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain and Sweden.

In Great Britain (GB) we employ some 4,000 people across England, Scotland and Wales at manufacturing sites, offices and depots. We are committed to minimising the environmental impact of its products and operations, with a particular focus on sustainable packaging, water stewardship, and energy and climate protection.

We make sell and deliver the following products in GB for The Coca-Cola Company (TCCC): Coca-Cola, Diet Coke, Coke Zero, Coke Life, Fanta, Dr Pepper, Sprite, Schweppes, Schweppes Abbey Well, glacéau, Powerade, Oasis and 5 Alive. In GB we also make, sell or deliver Monster, Relentless, Appletiser and Capri-Sun.


About Special Olympics Great Britain:

Special Olympics GB is the largest registered charity providing year round sports training and competition opportunities for people with intellectual (learning) disabilities in England, Scotland and Wales.

Almost 1.5 million people in the UK (2% of the population) have an intellectual disability. Special Olympics provides people with intellectual disabilities opportunities to increase their confidence; realise their potential; develop physical fitness and mental wellbeing; demonstrate courage and experience new friendships.

The year-round sport and competition programme provided by Special Olympics is important to people with intellectual disabilities because adults and children with intellectual disabilities tend to have poorer health and the many emotional and physical problems associated with inactivity.    One in three people with an intellectual disability is obese, compared to 1 in 5 of the general population.

Special Olympics GB is part of a global movement that provides year-round sports training and athletic competition to over 4.5 million children and adults with intellectual (learning) disabilities in 170 countries.

Read more at Special Olympics GB's website:  


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