Boots for Africa.
19th Jun 2009
With the World Cup now on the horizon, Alan Kinnear, Town's Vets goalkeeper, talks about how you can help to help those less fortunate than ourselves in South Africa enjoy the beautiful game.
We first went to South Africa the year after Nelson Mandela was released and were stunned by its natural beauty and also the contrast in the standard of living; we have been back every year since.
The one place, amongst many, that we frequently visit is a small coastal town called Kenton-on-Sea in the Eastern Cape.
In this town there are two football clubs teams called Marselle and Ekulpulmanjeni, each having a local rivalry with each other, and both teams sharing the only full size pitch along with the cows which are free to graze anywhere!
As my photograph shows some junior players had nothing - many still have nothing - we are gradually ensuring that every player has at least a pair of boots; moulded soles are preferred due to the very hard and dusty ground.
What we do is to ask for donations in the form of boots, kit, balls, shin pads, pumps, etc from anybody we know – local football teams, school contacts, friends, family and even buying from charity shops.
This equipment is taken over twice a year and given to the above clubs who then centrally hold all equipment (including boots) and manage the sharing on a collective basis for each club; this gives everyone, provided they have enough boots, the chance to play in a proper kit.
The expression of joy shown by the locals on receiving anything football related is a memory to savour.
We are still looking for further donations as the clubs have various age groups; giving sports equipment helps the clubs attract other players which in turn generates interest and may help in building the community spirit and reducing crime.
Any donations - kit, football books/videos - can all be taken and will be given out on our next visit, sp please contact Buntingford Town FC via this website if you have any donations for me.
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