A charity that provides football strips and kit to deprived people in Africa has received a donation from the Forres Area Soccer 7s. The football club has given over 60 old football strips to the 'Taking Football to Africa and Beyond Appeal'.
The charity is run by members of the Royal Air Force and is linked to the RAF Football Association.
Shaun Moat, chairman of the Forres Area Soccer 7s, which meet every Sunday, and is aimed at children of all abilities from aged four and up, explained why they wanted to help.
He said: “As I am ex Royal Air Force myself I heard about the charity through facebook, and I follow their updates and there was an article posted about the work of the charity and I thought we could help. I made contact with Neil to see if the logistics would be an issue but no issues came up. We will now look to donate all our old kits to this charity as we renew our sponsorship deals every three years and we often have to buy new kits. Therefore it makes sense to get involved with the charity. We know that the kits are making a difference to children in Africa.
“We had had around 60 old strips going back over the club history that were just collecting dust. It was great going through them all as it told a lot about the history of the club and the town of Forres. A lot of businesses that have sponsored us over the years are not in existence anymore or are no longer involved with the club. It showed how the town has changed over the years.”
“These kits have just been left up in our loft and it’s great to be able to give them to a great cause. We have kept one of each of the strips and these are displayed in the changing rooms. It is great that we are able to give children the opportunity to play football and feel a part of a team.”
Taking Football to Africa and Beyond Appeal was set up by Wing Commander Neil Hope who is based at RAF Shawbury. He set up the appeal in 2006 and he works with the RAF Football Association and is also a member of the English FA Council.
Neil said: “This is a fantastic donation and we are delighted with it. It has been made easier by the fact that RAF Lossiemouth is on the doorstep, and the kits are being flown down to me from there. They have been put into the system but because of the nature of what we do, it could be anywhere of up to a year before the kits are distributed.
“To date we have distributed around 120,000 items including 39,500 football shirts. The kits and equipment gets given to the slum areas and it’s amazing the boost that it gives to children and adults alike.”
Picture (left to right): Mark Thomson (Vice Chairman), Ethan Lynch, Nick Evans (Head Coach)