Host Your Kit Winners – March 2014

Phew it was a tough decision for our judges this month as we have been absolutely inundated with entries. In fact we had so many to look through that I had to go and have a lie down half way through! Anyway we believe we have come up with a great set of winners who will all be donning a brand new kit from UK cloud company iomart.

The football category was particularly hard to judge as there were so many worthy stories that dropped into our inbox. The coach of Abingdon Town Under 11 Boys team in Oxfordshire told us how the winter floods had wrecked their pitch – from the videos online they should have a sailing team rather than a football team! – and how they had put all their funds into helping the club itself to survive.  We’re delighted to be able to send one of our fantastic adidas kits their way and hope it helps keep them and their club afloat. Glenafton Under 14 Boys are real battlers. They also had their pitch flooded but most importantly they’ve had to deal with the news that one of their young players has cancer.  They support their teammate in many ways and wear his number on their warm up kit. Now we hope they can extend that support to wearing his number on a brand new match strip. We wish him all the best and hope he’s able to re-join the team when he gets better.  Does anyone have a Welsh pronunciation guide??Our next winners are Troedyrhiw U14 Girls, a tricky name for an old gaffer like me. They are based in Merthyr Tydfil in the valleys of South Wales where it’s a real struggle to raise funds. The girls have to buy their own shirts and despite the financial difficulties they’ve still managed to produce six players to represent Wales. You can uncross those fingers girls, a new kit is on its way!

Host Your Kit is about celebrating success as well as helping those in difficulty. We decided to reward Aztec Stars Under 15 Boys from North Wales with a brand new kit because of their amazing team spirit – the team has been together since they were 5 years old. They don’t have a kit sponsor and are off to represent their club at a tournament in Belgium soon so we are proud as punch to fulfil that role and help them kick off in a great new kit. And Woburn Lionesses Under 15 Girls also win themselves a new adidas kit for their commitment and success this season. They’ve reached their county cup final and are winning matches like I eat hotcakes so a new kit will be a great reward for them.

On to rugby and we have three winners who will all be getting brand new kits from Gilbert. Bowdon Under 12 Boys from Altrincham, Greater Manchester, have been doing lots of volunteer work like cleaning cars and helping people with their shopping to raise money for a new kit. They said that if they won one from us they will give the money they’ve raised to help one of the younger teams so boys, get ready to hand that money over as you’ve won one!  Eccles Under 13 Girls is a new team established just a year ago after a huge drive to raise awareness of rugby among girls in the Greater Manchester area. At the moment they are wearing boys’ cast-offs so girls, get ready to wear a top quality properly fitting kit from now on. And Edenbridge Under 15 Girls is a newly established team in Kent. It’s the first girls’ team they’ve ever had at Edenbridge RFC and currently boasts 24 players. You might have to fight over the kit girls but we hope it gives you that added edge on the pitch!

In hockey we have two worthy winners from the north of England. Kendal Under 16 Girls train and play in the Lake District. They have to wear tatty old shirts and all the club’s funding comes from fees and donations. We’ve glad to be able to donate a high quality new kit to help them out. And Pendle Forest Under 13 Girls in East Lancashire asked us to help them because to quote their coach “it would be one less financial headache for their supportive parents who give up their time and hard earned money throughout the season.” Well said coach!

Finally we have chosen two terrific basketball teams to get new Spalding kits.  Gracemount Panthers Under 16 Girls team in Edinburgh  has to share a strip with their senior ladies team so we’re delighted to present them with one of their very own. And Hollinwood Under 10 Boys have never had their own kit since they came together a few years ago. Well boys, that’s about to change!

Congratulations to all our winners, we hope you like your new kits. For those teams not lucky enough to win a kit this month, we will keep your entries and consider them for next month’s giveaway, so keep those fingers crossed. Keep playing well and enjoying your sport.

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Lochgoilhead Nuggets are a Gold Star Team

Check out this cute photo of a great little basketball team called the Lochgoilhead Nuggets who are based up in the Highlands of Scotland. We were delighted to be able to help them out with a new kit and equipment during last year’s Host Your Kit campaign.

Jayne, the lovely lady in their small coastal community who inspires the local children to get involved in sport, heard that we’d launched a new campaign for 2014 and got in touch. We wanted to share her kind words to show you the amazing things that volunteers like Jayne can do to inspire young people in sport and to share the benefits she thinks being a recipient of Host Your Kit can bring.

A huge thanks to Jayne for keeping in touch and we wish the Lochgoilhead Nuggets basketball team all the success in the world.

Here’s her email – I’m off to get the tissues!

 ”I noted that you had started up the Host Your Kit campaign again and just wanted to take the opportunity to update you on how much your support has helped our club.

The children in our sports club had never played basketball before we contacted you to ask for help.  The support from iomart was fantastic and the balls and hoop you provided were a start to us being able to provide twice weekly practice sessions. 

The introduction to basketballscotland was great and got us signed up to take part in the West Regional Development League Under 12s.  Our little team of children aged 8-11 have played in several matches over five dates in Paisley at the Lagoon Centre.  The progress they have made since August is incredible.  They are so happy to play, and really don’t mind not winning, but they are thrilled when they do score a basket.

The kit you provided is fabulous and makes them look so smart, and I’m sure has given them a boost to their confidence to be able to take part in a new sport and look the part.

So, thank you from us, and well done on continuing to support many more teams.”

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What a Way to Kick Off Host Your Kit for 2014

Well, we might have been a bit late out of the stalls for our first kit giveaway of 2014, but I think we’ve made up for it with the response that we’ve had to our new competition. Six winners announced for February and scores more to come over the coming months.

This year we’ve got a bit of a Commonwealth Games theme going on because iomart, the UK cloud computing company behind Host Your Kit, is headquartered in Glasgow where the 2014 Games are being held. Rugby union and hockey are two of the sports being showcased at Glasgow 2014 so we’re delighted to be able to shoulder the cost of kits for youth teams who play both sports. Along with our regular football and basketball kit giveaways, we’re hoping 2014 proves to be another great year for all of us involved with the campaign.

In our launch week we had almost 200 entries from teams all over England, Scotland and Wales – mind you most of them seemed to come from Croftfoot United U14s after their coach mobilised all his players’ parents to send in individual entries! Well done to them though, we hope the lads look fantastic in their new adidas kit.

Our other football winners were Nottingham Forest Ladies U16s and Dudley Town Youth U15s. Notts Forest, they’re a successful Championship club I hear you say! Well the league club might be hoping for promotion this season but unfortunately they don’t help out the ladies sides so that’s why we’ve picked their entry as a winner. Dudley Town FC needs a new kit so they can enter a second U15s side in their local league. Best of luck boys, keep us posted on how you get on!

Our very first winners of a rugby kit are Oban Lorne U15 girls. Murray, their coach, told us how he takes over 40 girls training every week at the local high school. Based in one of the most westerly towns on the Scottish mainland the girls have to travel huge distances to play matches and have to borrow their kit. So we’re delighted to be rewarding them with a brand new Gilbert strip of their very own.

Our first award of a Grays hockey kit goes to Kelburne U16 boys. Kelburne is a hugely successful community club which has produced a number of international players.  It gives children who normally would not ever get the chance to play hockey the chance to learn and play the sport to a really high standard. Well done to them and we look forward to seeing some of their former players in action on the astro pitches of Glasgow Green during the Commonwealth Games.

Finally for now, our first Spalding basketball kit of the year will soon be on its way to Copley U12s. The team is part of the biggest community basketball club in the Tameside area of Greater Manchester. So many children have been able to choose a different path in life as a result of their involvement with the club so we hope a new kit will help boost that feeling of being part of something really special.

Thanks to the sporting organisations who have become our official supporter this season. GreaterSport is the Greater Manchester charity which aims to change lives through sport.  As their Chief Executive (Designate) Yvonne Harrison, says, “Having a kit helps young people to feel part of a team, but the cost can be a real barrier, so the opportunity for clubs in Greater Manchester to receive much needed support and the potential to provide a kit to junior teams is something we know will be welcomed.”

Welcome also to Youth Football Scotland, a social enterprise which provides a one-stop-shop for football clubs.

And a big hand and welcome back to basketballscotland who first came on board last year. As their CEO Kevin Pringle, says, “Host Your Kit is a fantastic initiative which has already benefitted many Scottish cubs so we hope as many teams as possible enter it this year.” We couldn’t agree more!

Thanks to our retail partners Gilmour Sports and Greaves Sports, it’s through their great relationships with the kit brands that we are able to give away the top quality kits we do.

So, all that’s left for me to say is, if you feel your team deserves a new kit then make sure you get in touch. Host Your Kit is now all year round so it doesn’t matter when you enter. Go for it and good luck!

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Surrey Mirror Young Team of Year Nominees Get Early Christmas Present

Merstham Under 11s Win Host Your Kit

Merstham Under 11 football team has taken delivery of an early Christmas present after winning Host Your Kit.

The young Surrey footballers beat off competition from over 300 teams from England, Scotland and Wales, to win a brand new adidas kit worth over £400 donated by iomart.

The Merstham team won their local paper the Surrey Mirror’s ‘Young Team of the Year’ award two years ago when they did the League and Cup double as Under 9s. They had not lost a match for 19 months and continued to blaze a trail to the Division One Championship of the Epson & Ewell League. Not surprisingly they were nominated again for the newspaper’s Young Team of the Year award this year.

This season the boys have moved from 7 a side to 9 a side and are playing in the Epsom & Ewell Premier League for the first time. They started the season with four straight defeats but since winning their new iomart kit they have not lost a match, winning five games in a row.

John Gellett, the manager and coach of Merstham Youth U11′s, said: “This is a fantastic present for the players and we can’t thank iomart enough for selecting us as winners. With this and our nomination for the Surrey Mirror award, it’s as though Father Christmas has already paid us a visit!”

Host Your Kit asked youth teams across Scotland, England and Wales, to say why they deserved a new kit. The Merstham coach explained how the players’ parents had helped to pay for kits for the past two seasons and how a free kit would be a reward for all their support as well as for their children.

Phil Worms, Director of Marketing for iomart Group, said: “We are delighted to be able to help Merstham say a big thank you to the parents who’ve supported the team over a very successful period. We wish them all a very happy Christmas and hope they continue their winning streak.”

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Oakwood Youth Football Club Launches Girls-Only Training

U16s win new football kit from iomart

New Forest Girls’ Football League club Oakwood Youth has launched Girls-Only training to encourage more young women in the area to take up the game.

The new training evenings coincide with Oakwood’s Under 16s girls’ team winning Host Your Kit, the national competition run by UK cloud computing company iomart.

The Southampton-based team beat off competition from over 300 other football teams from England, Scotland and Wales to win a brand new adidas kit worth over £400 donated by iomart.

Host Your Kit asked teams to tell them why they deserved a new team strip. Oakwood Foxes U16s were declared winners after explaining how a new kit would give the existing players greater confidence and help their drive to recruit more girls to join their club.

Gary Davison, coach of Oakwood Foxes U16 girls, said: “We want more girls to come along and get involved and winning this great looking kit from iomart will help our club get girls to our girls-only training sessions. Wearing a great kit is important because teenage girls like to look good as well as play well so the whole thing fits nicely into our recruitment drive.

“Girls aged from 7 to 16 years old can come along to have fun whilst learning the game. Our aim is to have more teams enter the New Forest Girls Football League.”

Phil Worms, Director of Marketing for iomart Group, said: “The Oakwood girls look fantastic in their new strip and we hope it helps encourage more young women to get involved with the club. Women’s football is growing in profile and numbers so we hope we’ve helped spark an even greater interest in the game for girls in the local area.”

Oakwood Foxes, whose motto is ‘Believe To Achieve’, will be running its Girls-Only training evenings on Fridays at its Test Park ground between 7 and 8pm.

If you would like to find out more you can visit the club’s website http://www.oakwoodyouthfc.co.uk/

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Winsford Diamonds U15s win new football kit

Cloud Company iomart Lifts Boys Spirits with Host Your Kit


Winsford Diamonds Under 15s football team has secured itself a brand new kit after winning Host Your Kit, the national competition run by UK cloud computing company iomart.

The Cheshire team beat off competition from over 300 other football teams from England, Scotland and Wales to win a brand new adidas kit worth over £400 donated by iomart.

Host Your Kit asked the teams to tell them why they deserved a new kit. Winsford were declared winners after explaining how devastated they were when they ended up being relegated at the end of last season because of a last minute restructuring of Division 1 of the Mid Cheshire Youth League which they had only won promotion to the previous season.

Karl Goodwin, coach of Winsford Diamonds U15 FC, said: “We thought we’d secured enough points to stay in Division 1 but then came the bombshell that we would be relegated anyway because the league was being re-organised. The boys’ heads went right down but winning this kit from iomart has brought them right up again and we’re determined to secure promotion to the top flight again.”

Phil Worms, Director of Marketing for iomart Group, said: “We’re delighted to have put the smile back on the faces of Winsford Diamond U15s. They look fantastic in their new strip. Hopefully winning Host Your Kit has given them the extra edge they need to secure promotion once again at the end of this season.”

It’s so far so good for the team. After a 2-1 win at the weekend they’re top of Division 2 with a record of P7 W5 D1 L1.

Mike Fox, Manager of Winsford Diamonds, added: “The lads are absolutely over the moon with their new kit. It has given them an enormous boost and made them more determined than ever to compete and perform to the best of their ability and to get promoted back into the ‘big time’ at the first time of asking. Thank you iomart. “

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Portlethen Panthers Basketball Swap Baggy Kit for iomart Kit

Portlethen Panthers under 10s Basketball Team has finally got a kit that fits, after winning Host Your Kit, the national competition run by Glasgow-headquartered UK cloud computing company iomart.

Until now the young basketball players had had to wear a huge, baggy kit passed down from older players because the club could not afford to buy a kit especially for them. But this weekend, after beating off competition from over 300 other sports teams to win Host Your Kit, they took to the court at the International School in Aberdeen, in a perfectly fitting brand new iomart strip.

Jackie Bruce, coach of Portlethen Panthers under 10s, said: “I don’t know who was more excited to win the kit, me or the children. The old kit we’d been given came down to their knees so they couldn’t play properly. Now, thanks to iomart and Host Your Kit, they have a great fitting kit that allows them to do their best moves on the court.”

To win Host Your Kit teams had to tell the judges why they deserved a new team strip. Portlethen sent in photos of their under 10s team wearing their out-sized hand-me-down kit with the plea – “A smart set of strips would strengthen team spirit and mean not having to wear strips that look like dresses!”

Phil Worms, Director of Marketing for iomart Group, said: “Portlethen Panthers look absolutely fantastic in their new kit. We’re delighted we were able to end their search for a properly fitting kit and hope it gives them great confidence for all the matches they play.”

Will Clarke, Grampian regional development Officer for basketballscotland which was an official partner for the competition, said: “Portlethen is one of 15 Scottish basketball teams who were successful in winning new kits, proving what a great initiative Host Your Kit is in supporting grassroots basketball.”

Portlethen Community Basketball Club now has over 70 members with boys and girls coming from Portlethen as well as Stonehaven, Newtonhill and Lairhillock to train. For more information you can visit www.PortlethenPanthers.com

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Host Your Kit Nets a Basket in Lochgoilhead

Host Your Kit’s 2013 tour is underway!

It kicked off in one of the most picturesque places in the UK – Lochgoilhead, a small coastal community in Argyll in the Scottish Highlands.

HYK has helped the community sports club in the village to launch its first basketball club for local children.

As you know we’re running our kit campaign for basketball as well as football this year. Well, Lochgoilhead Community Sports Club contacted us saying they didn’t need a kit but asked if we could help out with some equipment so they could start up a local basketball club. How could we refuse!?

Our touchline reporter Jane duly delivered a net of basketballs and hoop from our HYK retail partners Gilmour Sports as well as an exclusive coaching session thanks to HYK official supporter basketballscotland (you’ll be glad to know that Rebecca Cumming a Scotland international took the session and not Jane!)

The whole ethos behind Host Your Kit is for cloud company iomart Group to help parents and clubs to encourage young children to play sport. We are as proud as punch to have helped start a brand new basketball club in Lochgoilhead.

David Moffat, a volunteer leader at Lochgoilhead Community Sports Club, told HYK Gaffer, “We’re so grateful to iomart and Host Your Kit. This really is the start of something special.”

As ever though it’s what the children think that really matters. So how did their first basketball lesson go down? Lauren, aged 7 – “It was awesome and so exciting.” Adam, aged 10 – “Amazing! I really hope we can get a proper basketball team together.

basketballscotland is creating a series of new clubs in Argyll and Bute so HYK’s Lochgoilhead initiative couldn’t have come at a better time. Chris Cleary, the regional development officer, says, “Basketball is growing within Argyll and Bute and this type of investment from iomart and Gilmour Sports can only add to this. The future looks good for basketball in Argyll and Bute!”

Here’s Jane’s video of a great day out at Lochgoilhead

HYK Gaffer and the whole of the HYK team  wish the sports club in Lochgoilhead and in particular the main volunteer and organiser Jayne (who was far too shy to even be quoted or filmed..) all the best for the future. They’ve already been told they can enter an Under12s team in the winter league. We reckon it won’t be long until we see a child from Lochgoilhead playing basketball for Scotland!

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Ancrum player’s football rhyme wins Host Your Kit


HYK gaffer’s had a big smile on his face over the past couple of weeks as Host Your Kit’s Tour of Britain is underway. We’ve been busy starting to deliver our fantastic iomart Hosting-sponsored kits to the winning teams.

One of our first stops was the village of Ancrum near Jedburgh in the Scottish Borders. 13

year old football-mad Ross McKenzie won the local U14s team a brand new adidas kit after he wrote Host Your Kit a poem saying how his club couldn’t replace the team’s tatty old kit because money was needed for a new motorised lawn mower to cut their grass pitch at Bridgend Park.

Here’s his winning rhyme:

Our strip is in tatters – unlike our defence -
We can stop any striker from taking a shot
But to keep our grass short we may soon..NOT!
Funds are few..and a mower is dear
“Get your rags on from our coach we do hear!”
Oh how I dream of a new kit….
one that for everyone would be the right fit!

We would look so good and feel so proud to shout
“Ancrum Juniors” long and loud!!

Our touchline reporter Jane had a great evening with the players when she went along to present the kit. She said: “Ross’ poem made the judges smile however it also struck a chord about the fund-raising difficulties so many youth football clubs face.”

Ross McKenzie told us: “When we heard about Host Your Kit it sounded like a great chance to get a new kit so I thought I’d do something different to try to win. I still can’t believe that my poem won. The new adidas kit is absolutely fantastic.”

Ancrum Junior AFC now has over 60 boys and girls in its junior section despite being in an area dominated by rugby. In fact the management hope that the new kit will encourage more teenage boys to come along to the club.

The Ancrum boys have now moved up to U15 level this year so we wish them all the best for the new season. Ross clearly has a great future both on and off the pitch!

Here’s the video we made when we went to give Ancrum their kit

 

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Host Your Kit celebrates Olympic football and Scotton Scorchers

As theScotton Scorchers Under 15s Girls Football Team Olympic women’s football kicks off today, Host Your Kit is celebrating the presentation of its second winning kit to another girls’ team.

Last evening  HYK Gaffer travelled down to North Yorkshire, to the tiny village of Scotton – inhabitants approximately 300….football players 130!

We handed over a stunning  red iomart Hosting sponsored kit to Scotton Scorchers U15s girls, a team based in the village of Scotton just outside the town of Knaresborough. They looked fantastic!

Scotton Scorchers have spent the past decade building a really great local club with passionate support from parents and volunteers. And they are big champions of the women’s game.

As coach Andrew Black told HYK Gaffer, “The teenage years are when a lot of girls give up playing football because of all the other things that can take their attention away from sport like their growing social lives and their interest in looking good etc.. It’s great that in Scotton we’ve still got a great group of girls who still want to play.”

A new kit can make all the different to girls at this age and the team’s previous kit – kindly donated by a local business in more positive economic times – had definitely seen better days. There were smiles all round as the girls raced off to the changing rooms to try on their new kit.

Andrew Black added, “Winning Host Your Kit is fantastic for the girls and for the club. It’ll give the girls an extra incentive to keep playing and hopefully help attract some more teenagers to get involved, plus it’ll take the pressure off our fund raising for a while.”

HYK Gaffer always likes a bit of history and Scotton has it in spades. It’s the village where the gunpowder plotter Guy Fawkes lived. There’s a pub named in his memory and every year on 5th November there’s a village celebration with fireworks and a huge bonfire but no guy on top. Bet you never knew that!

HYK gaffer wishes Scotton Scorchers all the best for their new season as they move up to Under 16 level in the City of York Girls’ League. Plus we’ll be rooting for the Team GB women as they kick off 18 days of world class sport with their first game against New Zealand at Cardiff’s Millennium Stadium later today.

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