I hope you are all well and settled into 2024.
January has been a very special month for KitAid with a memorable first boxing up session. Here are the highlights and the very latest despatch totals
Total items of kit donated in January – 6,945
Total items of kit donated since 1998 – 1,034,393
Boxing Up – Sir Mo Farah
Many of you were at the session on Saturday morning for what was the most memorable and wonderful boxing up in our history. Sir Mo was fantastic, he took time to chat to everyone, signed everything, posed for loads of photos and recorded voice messages with incredible enthusiasm. We couldn’t have asked for more and he even got involved in loading all of the vans.
When I spoke to him before the session he made it clear that he wants to give back now that he finally has time. A really humble and honorable man in every sense.
He received 85 boxes of kit and they will be used in Hargeisa, Somaliland at the end of March when he opens a new sports complex there. He said he didn’t just want to turn up, cut a ribbon and pose for a few photos. He is going to organise some tournaments to involve the local community.
A wonderful experience and the beauty of KitAid, we never know what the next email, message or call might bring!
Thank You certificates
Hopefully all of the regional coordinators reading this update have received the new 2024 certificates to hand out to kit donors. If you haven’t, could you please let me know.
Many thanks to Carole for designing the certificate and for arranging the printing, while she is away in New Zealand. The first batch was posted out on 5 January, which must be a new record.
London Football Ground Sponsored Walk – 20/21/22 March
This is a very unique challenge and many thanks to Chris, our Regional Coordinator for Aylesbury, for setting up the event.
I do think “challenge” is the right description as it is a 3 day walk, covering every EFL ground in London, starting at Arsenal on 20 March and finishing at Wembley Stadium a couple of days later. Chris will be joined by friends, including James, who is the Wycombe Wanderers correspondent for the Bucks Free Press, and a supporter of KitAid.
As the walk involves overnight stays Chris is looking to try and get some external sponsorship. If anyone knows of a company who might like to put their name to the event please let me know.
A Just Giving page has been created and Chris is hoping to raise £1,000 for KitAid, see https://www.justgiving.com/page/chris-turton-james-andteam1705612763068
If you would like to join Chris, it doesn’t have to be for the whole event, even a leisurely 3 mile wander from Chelsea to Fulham, will be appreciated. I will arrange a welcome home and congratulations party for their final stretch from Brentford to Wembley Stadium on 22 March.
This is a lovely story and one to make KitAid proud.
We have a picture of a teenage Bill wearing a Watford FC training top in Harare, Zimbabwe. A couple of weeks ago, Bill came on as a late substitute for Mechelen and scored the winning goal against KA Gent in the Belgian A League. This is hopefully the start of a long career for Bill and who knows, he could be wearing a Watford training shirt every day in the future!
International Sports Convention – 20/21 March
As previously mentioned, KitAid is the chosen charity partner for this prestigious convention at White Hart Lane.
ISC agreed to sponsor a couple of our projects and asked for some proposals, which we supplied. They have agreed to sponsor a Women and Girls Football project in Malawi, which will be overseen by our good friends FOMO Malawi. This will enable a womens team to enter the Southern Malawi Football League for the very first time. They have also agreed to sponsor the Chimpanzee Protection Tournament in Uganda later this year.
Well I never……!
Recently Johnny (Jefferson), our Regional Coordinator for Durham gave a KitAid presentation to a Scout Group in Whitley Bay.
Johnny’s son Jed went with him and he is currently in the TV series “Jamie Johnson FC”. The boys in the scout group wanted to meet him! He was also in the series “Dumping Ground”. I then found out that Dad Johnny was in the famous TV series “Byker Grove” along with Ant and Dec, and he played the part of Fraser Campbell!
Any other claims to fame from other Regional Coordinators gratefully received!!
A great start to 2024 and thanks very much to everyone for your support and time in keeping the KitAid journey on rack.