Community, Diaspora and Immigration

Kits-4-Africa call for Leicester-shire Junior Football and sports Clubs to boost sporting opportunities for young people in East Africa

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Leicester born Tom Gill and his partner Carla Powell who together in 2009 together set up a charity to build and develop playgrounds for local schools and communities in Uganda, East Africa are now looking to expand their work through the inclusion of sport coaching for students and school teachers.  

The East African Playgrounds charity completed their 9th playground installation in the later part of 2011 are now stepping up efforts to develop sports coaching for students and school teachers, art and reading programmes along with the welding apprenticeships in the township of Jinja and Masaka in Southern Uganda.

One of the major aims of the charity in 2012 is to work with 11 schools in Jinja and Masaka to develop football, netball and volleyball coaching sessions and opportunities for hundreds of young school children.

The importance of sports, play and extracurricular activities is often an understated part of a child’s development.  The fun that children have through sports, play and extra-curricular activities has a great impact on children whose lives are difficult. Across East Africa there are millions of children who lack safe and fun play spaces and equipment, which can hamper their development.

Tom Gill, EAP Director, said: ‘  Our aim is to be able to provide training for the teachers and parents from qualified Uganda sports coaches to improve the level of training for the children of the community. We already have the funding for the coaches and have several coaches lined up. However sadly there is also shortage of basic sports equipment including balls, and kits for any organised sporting activities to take place ’.

‘I have approached Steve Humphries, co-ordinator of Leicester’s Kits-4-Africa scheme and Ivor Finn from the Leicester and Mutual Junior Football league who have kindly agreed to help us out by alerting the local junior league clubs and sports groups to donate any unused sports equipment, including balls ( football, netball, volleyball, basketball, rugby, tennis), full and part team kits, shin guards, bibs, boots, cones, tracksuits  which will help us to develop sport in Southern Uganda’.

Between  2007 – 2011, the Leicester City backed project, Kits-4- Africa scheme has sent 150 boxes of unused sports equipment donated mainly donated by Sunday Mutual league clubs  to areas within Northern Uganda which has enabled sports mad youngsters to take part in local football tournaments and activities  wearing football kit for the very first time. 

Cllr Piara Singh Clair, Assistant Mayor – Heritage, Leisure & Sport  said: I’m delighted that the East African Playground charity are looking to create develop high quality and inclusive physical education, sport and play as a way to enrich the lives of children and young people of all abilities in schools. I’m sure the Leicester-shire sports community will once rally to such a worthy cause.  
 
Many teams have unused kits and equipment they no longer need, more often than not, it’s then put away in someone’s garage or storage area never again to see the light of day.  Instead of leaving it to take up unnecessary space here’s another great opportunity to put it to good use in 2012’.

Ivor Finn, Leicester and Mutual Junior Football league, said: ‘  It’s heart-warming to see all the Junior clubs working together over the past five years with their generous offers of unused sports equipment, which we all know is so important in ensuring other young people in Uganda can fully benefit from playing organised football and other sports’.

The clubs who have supported the Kits-4-Africa project so far include:
Mountsorrel Jnrs Football Club. Woodgate ‘80 Jnrs Football Club. Oadby Owls Jnrs Football Club. Rothley Imps Jnrs Football Club. Blaby & Whetstone Boys Club. Highfield Rangers Football Club. Nirvana Football Club. Birstall United Jnrs Football Club. Asfordby Lions JFC. Wigston United FC, Loughborough Foxes Womens & Girls FC.Kirby Muxloe 88 JFC, Grimsby Town Ladies Football Club.  

For further information on how to support the Kits-4-Africa/ East African Playgrounds 2012 campaign contact Steve Humphries on Tel:   0116 2528509 or email steve.humphries@leicester.gov.uk or Tom Gill on Tel:  : 07775 742 009 or email:  info@eastafricanplaygrounds.org

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