Monday, February 21, 2011

Duncan Thomas with an update on The Great Football Giveaway...

In late October of last year, Duncan Thomas (Leckhampton Rovers FC under-12s coach) flew out to Tanzania for three weeks to distribute 1,200 footballs to some of the world's most disadvantaged children.  Duncan is a Trustee of The Great Football Giveaway, a registered charity which exists solely to put a smile on kids faces by distributing footballs and netballs to boys and girls who otherwise would not have the chance to play with a decent ball.
The majority of children in Cheltenham enjoy a relatively privileged life, but the love of kicking a ball about is something that connects all of us, whether it’s the galacticos  in Barcelona, the pros at Whaddon Road, our lads in the local park, or indeed some of the most disadvantaged children on the other side of the world.  
Duncan takes up the story........"We decided to visit the very far west of the country (which borders with Congo, Rwanda and Burundi) largely because it's a particularly deprived area with poor infrastructure as a consequence of very little government investment making its way from the capital Dar es Salaam in the east; power cuts were a frequent occurence.

Tanzania is an extremely poor country and the legacy of HIV/AIDS still casts a long shadow over most communities.  Some of you will know of Tanzania from travel is a stunningly beautiful country blessed with a spectacular array of wildlife and boasts some of the best game and nature reserves in the world.  However, it was always our ambition to stay clear of the tourist trail and travel to the most remote and poorest parts of the region in order to find the most disadvantaged communities........we were not disappointed.
In the three weeks we were there we visited nearly 100 primary and secondary schools, schools for the physically and mentally handicapped, schools for children with special needs (blind, deaf and notably albinos who are treated as outcasts in Tanzanian society) a dozen or so community projects that were working with street children (children who had been abandoned or who had lost family support and networks through HIV/AIDS), 10 orphanges and numerous remote villages.
All in all we reached over 100,000 children and as you can see from the pictures....thats a lot of smiles!!!!
On a personal note, I'd like to thank everybody who contributed by donating a ball, those who bought raffle tickets at our club presentation and those that generously donated raffle prizes, the club who generously donated £200 to the charity and for those that put themselves out to raise money - special thanks to Scott who raised £200 by running in the Frampton 10km.  All the money raised went directly to cover the cost and the distribution of the balls.
If you would like to know more about the work of the Great Football Football Giveaway please click onto the link - The Great Football Giveaway

The Great Football Giveaway
UK Reg Charity 1113148

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