Over 300 items including brand new football boots, trainers and sports kit were donated to children and young people living in poverty in the UK thanks to a campaign by Yorkshire based charities, Sporting Heritage CIC and Action For Sport.
The organisations joined forces with Horsforth School in Leeds for The BIG Kit Donation call-out which was launched in the build up to National Sporting Heritage Day (NSHD), an annual campaign on the 30th September, launched by Sporting Heritage following the London 2012 Olympics to celebrate the impact and legacy of sport history.
Andrew Kenure, Co-founder of Action For Sport said: “We were delighted by the number of donations we received. 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. Teaming up with Sporting Heritage to support National Sporting Heritage Day was 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.”
The 100s of boots, trainers and clothing items were used to make a giant installation of the hashtag #NSHD with many including details of the sporting story from the person donating the item.
Dr Justine Reilly, founder of Sporting Heritage CIC adds: “Everyone deserves that opportunity to create their own sporting heritage and story. We’ve really enjoyed working with Action For Sport and Horsforth School on this campaign that will now enable so many more young people to get involved in sport, create memories and stories, and enjoy all the benefits that brings.”
The campaign was 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 shared their stories on the tags when they give the donation as it’s a celebration of everyone’s sporting heritage.”
Events and activities took place across the country on 30th September in celebration of National Sporting Heritage Day with the hashtag #NSHD2022 trending on Twitter. Further details can be found at www.sportingheritage.org.uk/NSHD