Yorkshire based charities, Sporting Heritage CIC and Action For Sport are calling for people to donate their unwanted football boots, trainers and sports kit to be donated to school children and families to enable them to participate in sport.
The BIG Kit Donation call-out is launched in the build up to National Sporting Heritage Day (NSHD) which takes place on the 30th September. The national campaign, launched by Sporting Heritage following the London 2012 Olympics, is a celebration of the impact and legacy of sport history.
The donations will be used to create a large installation of the NSHD initials on the playing fields at Horsforth School in Leeds and then distributed to families living in poverty in the UK.
Andrew Kenure, co-founder of Action For Sport said: “Our aim is to ensure that everyone can participate in sport. With the increasing cost of living crisis, there is an even greater chance that many young people will lose that opportunity due to not having a pair of boots or kit. Many of us will have old boots, trainers and kit that are in good condition but just outgrown. We would love these donations to go on and play a key part in someone else’s sporting story.
Teaming up with Sporting Heritage to support National Sporting Heritage Day is a perfect opportunity to showcase the vital role sport plays in our communities, in education and society, especially with this year’s NSHD theme around Celebrating Diversity in Sport.”
1000s of boots, trainers and kit are required to make the giant installation and people are encouraged to share their sporting story of their donation by downloading a ‘Your Sporting Story’ tag to attach to the item available on the Sporting Heritage website.
Dr Justine Reilly, founder of Sporting Heritage CIC adds: “This year we have seen some history defying sporting moments such as the Women’s Euros and Birmingham Commonwealth Games which have undoubtedly had an immensely positive impact on young people, and it’s important we are able to harness and support that by removing barriers wherever we can.
The heritage that came before these sporting successes is also hugely significant and understanding that sporting journey is what can shape the future for generations to come. We all have a sporting story to share, and we can’t wait to read these along with people’s donated items.”
The charities need as many donations as possible to make the giant letters which they will start assembling on the morning of the 30th September at the school. Donations can be dropped off from 8am on the morning of the 30th at Horsforth School when members of the two organizations and Horsforth students will be creating the installation. All donations will then be distributed by Action For Sport to young people and families in need.
The campaign is being supported by Sporting Heritage ambassador, and former women’s footballer, Joanie Evans who is also co-president of The Gay Games. Joanie said:
“Having access to sports kit is essential for sport participation. When I began playing for the Hackney women's football team, we had to provide our own kit which consisted of a red top, black shorts and red socks. This meant none of us matched and we had various shades of red tops, mismatched shorts...which varied from jogging pants to running shorts as many of us couldn't afford to buy a full kit from a sports shop, even our socks came in various shades. But it meant we could still play and that was the main thing for us as footballers.
I love the fact people will be sharing their stories on the tags when they give the donation as it’s a celebration of everyone’s sporting heritage.”
Further details on the kit donation campaign, tag download and details on how you can get involved in this year’s National Sporting Heritage Day including events taking place at sports clubs, museums, and schools across the country, are available at www.sportingheritage.org.uk/NSHD