Since the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games, Team England has donated over 1,000 items of sports kit to multiple national and international projects from Camden and Waltham Forest all the way to Africa and South America.
In a partnership with UK-based charity, Kit Us Out, Team England has donated its left-over kit from the past two Commonwealth Games and Commonwealth Youth Games.
Most recently, Team England has donated over 100 items of kit from the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games to a project called Salisbury Hall Friday Night Football in Walthamstow, London, as part of its initiative to support local communities.
Team England men’s basketball player, Orlan Jackman, from London, attended the session. He said:
“To me this is really what it’s all about to play for Team England, to show that there’s a path towards greater things and giving back is one of the things that I thoroughly enjoy doing. I cannot stress how important this is for Team England because this is where you find the hidden gems. Two of the last England football captains are from around the corner, Harry Kane and David Beckham so we could be looking at the next captain.”
PC Jason Hill, the youth engagement co-ordinator for the North East Sector was involved in setting up the project in Salisbury Hall. He said:
“We started off with six young people and within a year we have 800 people registered, which shows if you give a young person a venue to go to We normally have over 100 young people coming to the session. It’s a safe environment for two and a half hours and they can just play ball and feel safe.”
The project is supported by the Metropolitan Police and provides a safe environment for youths from all backgrounds, irrespective of social status or rank within their peer groups, to meet and build rapport and relationships across postcode boundaries among their peers group and police and wider community.
The project aims to reduce anti-social behaviour and gang related crime thorough positive engagement from the coaches, volunteers and visits from local police officers. Each week over 100 young people from various backgrounds attend the football sessions with 800 registered to the project.
Commonwealth Games England chief executive, Paul Blanchard, said:
“Team England has worked with Kit Us Out to donate left over kit after a Games in a partnership that has hopefully been invaluable to the athletes and communities that have benefitted from our donations. We are so pleased that our kit is able to go to such deserving projects and hope that people are able to wear the lion on their chest with pride as our athletes representing their country do.”
Kit us Out founder, Alex Mitchell, said:
“Kit us Out is all about levelling the playing field in sport. Kit should never be a barrier to enable you to train and compete at your best. Kit is often overlooked. It’s a feeling of belonging. If you’re all wearing the same kit you feel part of a team, you feel engaged, you feel as if you’re working towards a common purpose. The role of kit is hugely important in relation to bringing a team together.”