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Sports equipment for African Children Appeal 15 January 2007

The Department of Tourism and Leisure has today launched an appeal for Isle of Man residents to donate any used and new sports equipment they may have to their Sports Equipment for African Children Appeal.

The Institute of Sport and Recreation Management (ISRM) recently raised awareness of third world countries, notably Zambia, that are desperately short of sports equipment. The impact that sport can have on third world communities is being used in Zambia to tackle issues such as poverty, crime, AIDS and social inclusion. Some children in Zambia have never seen any sports equipment in their lives.

The ISRM organised the collection of used sports equipment, donated mainly by the public, through leisure centres in the UK (as collection points) and managed to fill a 20 foot shipping container. This was shipped out to Zambia and is now being used by organisations such as ‘Go Sisters’, the largest female sports movement in Zambia and ‘Sport in Action Zambia’.

Sport has helped develop skills such as teamwork and leadership, and at the same time has brought communities together, reducing violence and promoting a healthy lifestyle.

The NSC is co-ordinating an Isle of Man based collection and shipment of sports equipment from the Island to Zambia. Project Co-ordinator Carl Glover explained: ‘Our aim is to fill a 44 ton lorry of used and new sports equipment, and ship it out to Zambia. The equipment will then be used by children in structured sports programmes. The equipment will mainly be used by children living in extreme poverty, living in remote rural villages. One of the organisation’s that will benefit from the donation is ‘Sport in Action’- Zambia.’

Equipment needed is wide ranging and includes items such as sports rackets, footballs, basketballs, rugby balls, hockey sticks, children’s football boots, portable goals, complete team sports kits, fitness equipment, cricket equipment, skipping ropes, skittles, etc, etc. The equipment will be distributed according to the needs of specific regions in Zambia where structured sports programmes are taking place.

The Department of Tourism and Leisure would like to thank the NSC staff and many sponsors who have come forward and given their service generously. They are G4S Security Services (Isle of Man) Ltd, a subsidiary of DHL, Isle of Man Steam Packet Company, Charles Turner- Intersport, Pulse Fitness, Manx Petroleums, Total Isle of Man Ltd and Kallkwik.

Department of Tourism and Leisure Minister Adrian Earnshaw said: ‘This is a fantastic project which I know Manx people will take to their hearts. Many will share in my disbelief that some children in Zambia have not seen any sports equipment. It is also incredible to think that the odd item lying around our homes will enhance and enrich children’s lives from conditions that, fortunately, the majority of us in the Western world are exempt. The generosity of the sponsors has been most heartening and my Department is grateful for the opportunity to be associated with such a worthwhile project.’

Posters have been displayed at the NSC and the three regional swimming pools on the Island, (Castletown, Ramsey and Peel), and they will also serve as collection points. Any member of the public who would like to donate any item of equipment can just take it along to one of the three regional pools or the NSC. The project will run for approximately six weeks to eight weeks. For further information on the project contact Carl Glover, Project Co-ordinator on 688586.

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