In a world that can be unfair and miserable at times, acts of kindheartedness and empathy often provide a silver lining. Teaching our children the importance of such values should be of particular interest to all of us.
It is refreshing and fantastic to see, then, that Kirkliston & South Queensferry Football Club are doing exactly that by sending old match kits to Vietnam to help poor and disadvantaged children.
James Mackay, club secretary of KSQ, told Youth Football Scotland how it came to pass:
"Over the years, we have built up quite a stock of old kit which we have always thought about what to do with it instead of keeping it lying in storage. The opportunity to send the kit to Vietnam came through a work colleague of one of our Parent Helpers. His colleague Malcolm Osborne spends a month every year teaching English in schools in Vietnam. There is no welfare state in Vietnam, so all education has to be paid for. Most of the children love football and dream of being the next Ronaldo or Wayne Rooney, so the volunteering teams out there like to get old Football strips to support the dreams and aspirations of the kids.”
While acknowledging KSQ are not known around the world as a high-profile club, Mackay still believes they can make a difference: "KSQ may not be Man Utd, but we as a club, from the committee, coaches, volunteers and kids love the idea of helping to create dreams for the kids and build on their love of football. There is also something very cool about inspiring kids on the other side of the world to play for Kirkliston & South Queensferry."
Upon being asked what KSQ want to achieve with their charitable act, Mackay explained: "Inspiration. It may be a grand ambition, but as KSQ we want to foster a lifelong love of football for everyone who is part of the club and beyond. Through sending out some of our old kit, we hope that it sends a message to kids elsewhere that football is a great sport for fostering good health, wellbeing and teamwork. We want to inspire kids anywhere to play football, enjoy it and dream big about what they can achieve in life."
He went on to detail KSQ’s social responsibility and is convinced that the club can act as a role model for both other clubs and its members, especially the children playing for it: "For the 300 kids, their parents or guardians and 50 volunteers across the club, we also want to inspire them to think big and feel part of a club that can and does help others. We are based in the heart of the Kirkliston and South Queensferry community and want to show the power we all have to make a difference, no matter how small, to the lives of others. It is also good for our kids to understand the wider world and how life is for others while inspiring them that they themselves can help and make things better for others.”