Most football fans would like to receive a pair of used football boots from a professional player – of any stature – in this country. They would probably like to receive a pair from a famous player even more readily.
But it is a group of children in Africa who will be getting the benefit from a recent collection of football boots organised over here. Boots for Africa is an official charity that has been receiving football boots from clubs such as Sheffield FC, who first came up with the idea for the charity.
Needless to say the boots don’t get sent over to Africa looking as if they have just left a muddy pitch. Before they make the journey they are carefully cleaned up and checked to ensure they are ready to be worn. They are also paired up to ensure no shoe goes without its partner.
The idea is that by sending over used football boots that would otherwise just be thrown away, children in Africa can make good use of them. This form of recycling has received a great press and great reaction so far. There is no doubt that many African children would never get the chance to play football if it wasn’t for this initiative. Why throw away dozens of pairs of perfectly good boots when children in another country can use them instead?
There is another advantage here too. It means lots of children in Africa can enjoy the sport that helps to develop their social skills, football skills and sense of enjoyment as well. In fact it has so many benefits that this initiative looks set to continue well into the future as well.
Various different personalities and people have given their backing to the idea, including the President of FIFA. No doubt plenty more will provide support and perhaps even their own football boots as well, as news of this initiative reaches a wider audience. It is true recycling in a way that helps everyone, and long may it continue.
But it isn’t just well known clubs that are supporting Boots for Africa. Schools and other organisations can also collect boots from their players when they are no longer wanted or needed. This should certainly help to swell the number of boots that are sent out to Africa as time goes on.
If you are part of a football club, spread the word and make sure Boots for Africa has even more work to do!