Sum will be divided among three charity organisations / “Aufwind Mannheim” gets the main share / Other two winners are Play Handball and Right to Play/ Support from Rhein-Neckar Löwen, fans and team partner Suzuki
Around 30,000 euros: This is the amount that the joint donation campaign by Rhein-Neckar Löwen and Kim Ekdahl Du Rietz brought in. The former Leuven star, who moved to Paris St. Germain on 1 July 2018, had declared during his comeback in the jersey of the DHB Cup winner that he wanted to donate the three monthly salaries he would receive as a result of his return to good causes.
To support this, the Rhein-Neckar Löwen contributed with a special T-Shirt sale and the profit went one-to-one into the donation pot. The handball fans of the region were also called upon to make donations, including team partner Suzuki who helped with a single donation of around 1300 Euros. Kim Ekdahl Du Rietz asked the general public to decide where the money would go. In a Facebook survey, the handball community selected the organisations Aufwind Mannheim, Play Handball and Right to Play as the winners. The winner of the vote, Aufwind Mannheim, received a monthly salary of Kim as well as the profit of the T-shirt sales and Suzuki donation. The remaining two monthly salaries go to Play Handball and Right to Play.
“In the name of the Aufwind children and the entire team, I would like to thank the Rhein-Neckar Löwen, especially Mr. Ekdahl Du Rietz and all those who made this absolutely overwhelming fundraising campaign possible for us, from the bottom of my heart,” says Patrick Pietsch. Pietsch is the group leader for Aufwind, an aid organization that cares for children living in poverty in Mannheim. “The whole thing is incomprehensible”, especially since he was first made aware of it by volunteers. “They told me about the vote and that we are right in front. The fact that we won with the votes of the handball fans makes it all the more beautiful. That’s simply brilliant,” says Patrick Pietsch. Because Aufwind Mannheim is financed purely by donations, they are always dependent on outside help – and are all the more pleased about the commitment of the lions, Kim Ekdahl Du Rietz and the handball fans.
“We were delighted to follow the fundraising campaign and are extremely happy about the support,” says Nicola Scholl from Play Handball. The youth development organisation, which focuses on supporting disadvantaged children and young people in Africa with handball, responded enthusiastically to Kim Ekdahl Du Rietz’s donation. “A big thank you goes to Kim and everyone who voted for us. We already have some concrete ideas on how we will use the money and will keep you updated”. Sven Schröder, Managing Director of Right to Play, says similarly: “A great action! We are really excited about Kim’s commitment and are delighted that so many people voted for us. Sport can make an enormous difference for children all over the world. It’s great to see athletes as successful as Kim are aware of this power and are actively involved in helping children in disadvantaged regions around the world”. Right to Play is active around the globe with almost 15,000 volunteers, reaching around one million children.
While Kim Ekdahl Du Rietz is currently organising his move from the Rhine and Neckar rivers to the French metropolis on the Seine, the Rhein-Neckar-Löwen are planning a meeting with representatives of the three organisations after the summer break. This will possibly take place this year as part of a home game of the lions in the SAP Arena.