October has been another busy month and here are the totals to date
Total items donated in October – 11,903
Total items donated in 2021 – 96,633
Total items donated since 1998 – 803,257
Kit donated to the following countries in October, Liberia, Gambia, Kenya, Uganda, Ghana, Zimbabwe, Cameroon, Nigeria and Malawi.
Boxing Up, Hatfield
After a long and lonely gap of 18 months we were finally able to hold a “mini” boxing up session at Hatfield in person. Thanks to Affinity Water for giving us permission to use their facilities once again and thanks to everyone who was able to help out. It was lovely to see everyone after such a long gap and with a number of safety protocols put in place, the session went smoothly. We will continue to monitor the Covid situation and as more of us of a certain age receive the booster jab, we should be in a good position to hold a slightly bigger session once the storeroom fills up. Watch this space and fingers crossed, we may even be able to have the traditional KitAid photo under the Affinity Christmas tree.
William Hill Collection
Although the collection at shops around the country was held in the last two weeks of September, the donated kit was not actually delivered to the container until early October. We then held an outside count up thanks to our group of “retired” volunteers (thanks guys), and altogether 1,610 items were received.
From the donated items you could see certain regions, Liverpool, Manchester, Glasgow, Leeds etc, had really got behind the appeal which is great. We know the BBC “Kit Out the Nation” campaign in September had an impact but even so, the total items donated is enough to kit out over 100 teams.
Very many thanks to Sharon, Alex, Steph and the team at William Hill for arranging the collection and for their support. Hopefully there will be a repeat collection in early January.
During October we teamed up with Care4Calais to support their refugee projects in Reading, Slough and Luton with unbranded but brand new football kits. Talking to the project leads it was interesting to hear how most of the refugees have very little to do and how football is not only a way of exercising, but a way of bonding. As they did not have proper kit they were playing in whatever clothes they possessed, often getting them muddy or damaged, with limited washing facilities. We were also able to pass on some brand new childrens winter coats to Afghan asylum families in Harrow.
KitAid Calendar 2022
Unfortunately the response to the question in last month’s update regarding potential interest in buying a calendar was limited and so, we have decided not to go ahead. It is a shame and it also means we have lost out on a fundraising activity, but for the amount of work/time involved, it is for the best. As 2023 will be a very big year for us, with the 25th Anniversary in July, perhaps we can do a special calendar then?
Both U14 and U17 teams are top of the Mulanje District Leagues and sadly, the U14’s lost their 100% record recently. As they have become the team to beat, an opposition team decided to play over age players to get a win. It didn’t go unnoticed and it has been reported to the League, but remains to be seen if the result will be voided. However, since then they have won 5-0 and 10-0 and are playing again as I write this update. The winners of each District League will then go forward to play each other in a National competition, which is really exciting for the boys.
At the end of November, Zanil will join up with the Malawi U17 National squad to play in a tournament in Lesotho, with games against Zambia and the Seychelles in their group. What an incredible experience for him at 15 years old and an inspiration to all of the FOMO children. Good luck Zanil.
We couldn’t let the opportunity pass to wish our much loved Treasurer, Trustee and friend to all, a long and happy retirement after 30 plus years at Affinity Water. Sean was a pioneer in the very early days of inventing water and has enjoyed supping it in the form of an ancient Dutch form, also known as Oranjeboom!
Good luck Sean, enjoy your new found freedom and keep counting the KitAid beans to keep you occupied.
It has been great to meet some of our new Regional Co-ordinators recently, even more so as they have travelled from Mansfield, Ashford and Chelmsford to support events. Welcome to Chris, Ben and Barrie. A very big thank you to all of our Regional helpers as we know you are doing a lot in the background collecting and storing kit for us. I really hope that one day we will be able to hold a proper get together, somewhere central for everyone, and celebrate properly. Now there is a thought for the 25th Anniversary in 2023.