RAF Odiham FC welcomed members of Hampshire FA to RAF Odiham in order to collect football kit and equipment donated by local grassroots teams in support of the Taking Football to Africa and Beyond Kit Appeal.
The Taking Football to Africa and Beyond Kit Appeal is based at RAF Shawbury and is run by Wg Cdr Neil Hope MBE. The Appeal, which began in 2006, collects kit and other unwanted items such as school uniform, from all over the United Kingdom. Working in conjunction with Hampshire FA for the third time, RAF Odiham FC provided assistance by ensuring that all kit and equipment donated by local grassroots teams in Hampshire was distributed to Wg Cdr Hope prior to its delivery to countries across the world.
Since the Appeal began it has delivered over 181000 items including over 55000 football shirts to children and adults in 55 countries worldwide. High profile clubs such as Manchester Utd, Leicester City, Everton and QPR are amongst those who have contributed to improving the lives of people in a whole host of countries including Kenya, Nepal, Cuba, Cameroon, Zambia, South Korea, Uganda, Belarus, Romania, Nigeria, Brazil and Mexico.
Late 2017 will see a team of 13 people visit Nepal with delivery taking place to the Gurkha Welfare Trust in Kathmandu, Pokhara and the foothills of the Himalayas. The team will also visit Kenya in Easter 2018.
RAF Odiham FC OIC, Sgt Dave Grant, said, “What a brilliant way of using football to promote a positive message to those in other countries who are in need. I think the Appeal is brilliant and RAF Odiham FC is a proud supporter of what is a very worthwhile cause.”
Special thanks go to Isabella Pearson, Hampshire FA, Sgt Dave Grant, RAF Odiham FC OIC and Cpl Simon Newman, RAF Odiham FC Club Captain for their support. Anyone wishing to support the Appeal should get in touch with Wg Cdr Neil Hope at firstname.lastname@example.org or Sgt Dave Grant on ODI-BSWSNCORegtFlt2@mod.uk.