September 8 - UK-based all-cargo airline Coyne Airlines is placing its logo on the shirts of a national football team as it takes its first steps towards being recognised on the world football map.
Coyne Airways is sponsoring the football team representing Pohnpei, the largest of a group of islands making up thestate of Micronesia in the Pacific; this despite the team never having won a competitive match and calling themselves 'the biggest underdogs in world football'. The team has come to the attention of the international media after being tagged 'the world's worst football team' following a 16-1 defeat to Guam.
The team, largely consisting of part-timers from the local construction industry, is now coached by two British nationals,Matthew Conrad and Paul Watson.
Larry Coyne, CEO of Coyne Airways, said: "As one of the pioneers of reliable air cargo services into the Caspian region and, more recently, the first neutral operator into Iraq and Afghanistan, we know a thing or two about overcoming the odds.
"We are sponsoring the Pohnpei team for three very good reasons: they are inspiring young men; the team and coaches are an example of the benefits of exercise and good diet; and we hope that our funding support will help them on their way to being taken seriously as a football nation."
Conrad added: "The Pohnpei government and health officials are desperately trying to promote physical conditioning and a healthy diet and we hope football, as an aerobic sport, will promote a nationwide healthy living campaign. News of Coyne Airways' generous sponsorship has provided a fantastic boost to everyone's morale."
Coyne Airways will be publishing regular updates on the team and its progress on its website at www.coyneair.com.