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Football Boots For Africa

If you’re wondering what to do with your spare or old footy boots then read the following request from the Craig Bellamy Academy & help support a worthy cause.  A good friend of mine, Coach Johnny, is from Northern Ireland & is the Technical Director for the Academy based in Sierra Leone.  Johnny will be back in Northern Ireland over Christmas & will be collecting any boots from me to take back out in the New Year.  Please RT / Re-post this on your social media sites & websites to offer as many children in Sierra Leone a pair of boots.  You can email me <click here> to organise drop off point…

About the Craig Bellamy Foundation

The Craig Bellamy Foundation is a charity that offers underprivileged children in Sierra Leone the chance to reach their true potential in life through sport and education, enabling them to build a better life for themselves, their families and their communities. We do this by running a non-profit-making residential football academy and international school, as well as operating a nationwide community development youth league, supported by UNICEF.

Since the leagues inception in 2009, over 3200 players have competed at u12 and u14 age brackets, and the Craig Bellamy Foundation has handed out an impressive 1720 academic scholarships to children who would have otherwise struggled to enter mainstream education.  This has resulted in a staggering rise in school attendance rates amongst the league participants – with CBF registering an average school attendance rate of 92%, in comparison to the national average for secondary school attendance of a concerning 21%.

The league’s impact doesn’t end there however.  Youth Exclusion and Health Awareness are some of the most pressing challenges facing Sierra Leone today, and the Craig Bellamy Foundation are intent on playing their part in tackling each of these issues.  To date the players and volunteers of the foundation have completed over 500 community projects across the nation, and effected in excess of 50’000 people through the delivery of positive health messages.

And it is not just the boys who are getting in on the act.  January 2012 will see the Craig Bellamy Foundation further challenge the issues of Gender Inequality within Sierra Leone by launching the country’s first national youth football league aimed at girls.  20 Female football clubs from Freetown, Makeni, Bo and Kenema will compete at u15/u19 age categories – mirroring their male colleagues by collecting points not only through their performances on the field, but also through school attendance, fair play, community involvement, and health awareness.

Over the coming 12 months, the Craig Bellamy Foundation aims to continue to increase its impact within Sierra Leone, expanding the number of players registered with the foundation from 1680 to over 2300, as well as offering academic scholarships to every child competing in both the boys and girls leagues.

How you can help…

Any spare or old boots can be donated to a child in AfricaCurrently ranked 180, out of 187 countries in the United Nations Development Index, the challenges facing Sierra Leone are extensive, but through football, we at the Craig Bellamy Foundation believe we can motivate and empower the next generation of Sierra Leonean children to change their lives for the better, and create a better future for Sierra Leone.

By constantly improving our national development leagues, we are able to attract more children to play the game, and through doing so – increase their access to education, community involvement and health awareness.

One area that the league struggles in is our ability to source football boots for our children to wear when playing the game, with many of the young players in Sierra Leone playing bare foot on rough pitches.

This is where we believe that the participants of TW Sports can help.  As we all know, children grow out of shoes and football boots so quickly, and are constantly in need of ‘the next size up’.  We at the Craig Bellamy Foundation, and the children of Sierra Leone would be eternally grateful if you would allow us to provide a new home for those football boots that are no longer needed by your son or daughter.

If you feel that you would like to help support us in our quest to improve the lives of children in Sierra Leone through the donation of football boots, please drop your old boots off to Coach Tim at any of his coaching centres.  If he is unavailable then please tell the Head Coach to pass on to him.

For more information on the Craig Bellamy Foundation you can visit our website at www.craigbellamyfoundation.org

In addition to this you can see the work we are doing for yourself by viewing the recently aired documentary – “Craig Bellamy’s African Dream’, available online via the following links.

Episode 1 – http://www.itv.com/wales/craig-bellamys-african-dream30371/

Episode 2 – http://www.itv.com/sport/football/news/video-craig-bellamy-charity-football-work-sierra-leone-part-2-32534/

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