Grassroots football and many other youth sports are proving expensive as not all families are able to afford to buy team kit, particularly as the cost of living continues to rise steeply.
But Coalville Town FC U15s are looking sharper than ever thanks to their new home and away team kits sponsored by children’s charity Oakland Foundation. Providing funding for the club’s recently formed U15s football team took away the financial barriers of taking part in what is the beautiful game.
Football coach and serving police officer, Asif Hanif Ahmed known as Ace to his players, said: “We approached the Oakland Foundation for sponsorship to help subsidise the cost of new equipment and apparel for our players who couldn’t afford to play. As a football coach and police officer with over twenty-years’ service I work hard to keep children off the streets and instead get them interested in sport that will excel them physically, mentally and socially.
“Coalville Town FC U15s provides an opportunity for young people to come along and play football, train and talk about the positives of sports, exercise, nutrition and well-being, and it provides a safe environment where they can excel in sport, but also educational matters supported by the club’s welfare officer for any youngsters needing advice or just someone to talk to.”
Happy with their development and training, the U15’s match days have proved to be electrical with their confidence, learning and personalities developing as they build their knowledge about grassroots football, how to be humble and how to show humility to others.
Said Ace: “They were all extremely excited, and I understand one of the team even fell asleep in his new kit on the first day of getting it. He had never been gifted a new sports kit before as the family couldn’t afford it and he had always been given hand downs from his elder brother. It shows just how much this means.”
The Oakland Foundation charity aims to ensure all children, and particularly those living in poverty or who are underprivileged, irrespective of social background or physical ability, can participate by offering support to children under the age of 16 and their families through initiatives based around education, health and nutrition, and sport.
Oakland Foundation Trustee Luke Attwell commented: “Team kit should never be a barrier to sport but sadly it is an expense many families just simply can’t afford.
“We are very happy to offer our support to Ace and to the U15s team and wish them continued success for the rest of the season.”