After the exertion of announcing our second batch of winners on Friday while Euro 2012 kicked off, the Host Your Kit gaffer needed a bit of a rest over the weekend. Mind you, he didn’t need much persuading since Spain against Italy was on the telly and a nice cold drink was waiting!
Host Your Kit has now given away a total of 20 brand new adidas kits to teams across Britain. But it’s not time to put away the bunting yet. We still have another 10 kits to be won before the London Olympics open for business.
Our judges were impressed by the number of teams who sent in videos in the second round but also the tales that were told. Several of the winning teams had compelling stories and HYK gaffer wanted to tell you about them.
Cali Thistle is a team based in Bishopbriggs in central Scotland. Some of the players aren’t skilful enough to make it into more regular league teams while others cope with conditions like Autism or have anger management issues. The trouble is, because they don’t all live in the one council area, Stewart their coach has been banging his head against a brick wall trying to get local authority funding to help support them. Stewart describes his players as ‘the best kids in Scotland.’ He told the judges, ‘I only ask my kids to treat themselves with respect and in doing so this will emanate through to everyone and they will get that respect back 10 fold.’ Well, the judges wanted to show their respect for what Stewart is trying to achieve and can’t wait to see the boys wearing their new kit in the weeks to come.
New Boulton Athletic’s entry also highlighted the hard work and commitment that so many volunteer coaches put in to help young boys and girls follow the right path in life. New Boulton are based in a deprived area of Derby. They’ve just recruited new coaches to help bring the younger players on and are in the process of setting up a hardship fund to offer reduced subscriptions to help children from the poorest families in the local community to join. They want their players to feel special and the judges hope that the new kit will make them feel just that.
Football really can be a force for good and for the boys of Lea Valley United U16s it’s been just that. They play their football in Enfield, an area of north London which is rife with violence and youth crime. Katie Taylor their coach and manager explained that the boys face difficult situations every day of their lives. Through football though they’ve been encouraged to focus their attentions on sport and school work. Katie sent a photo of the boys before a recent cup final – the team looked so smart in their school uniforms and borrowed ties – yet she says most of the time they have to wear mismatching kit and shorts that have shrunk so much in the wash that they look like hot pants. Hot pants! Well HYK gaffer cannot have boys wearing hot pants under any circumstances…so a new kit is on its way to them.
Those are just three stories from the 10 winning teams in this round. Host Your Kit would like to congratulate all of them: New Boulton Athletic FC; Prestwich FC; Cali Thistle FC; Renton Craigandro FC; Stafford Rangers; Lea Valley FC; Trowell FC; Whiston Boys FC; Mill Hill FC and Chadwick End Juniors FC.
The chairman of the judges, iomart Hosting’s marketing director Phil Worms said: “The entries for the second round of Host Your Kit highlighted the struggle that so many coaches have to keep their teams going. We were so impressed by the time and the commitment these volunteers give to football and we hope that winning a new team strip is some reward for all their hard work over the years.”
Charlie Mulgrew and Emma Fernon, Host Your Kit’s two Scottish international ambassadors, were also quick to pass on their best wishes to the winners.
Charlie said: “Well done to the latest winners of Host Your Kit. I hope the new strips make the players and their coaches feel really proud. ”
Emma added: “I’d like to congratulate the coaches in particular. They deserve so much credit for giving up their spare time to encourage young boys and girls to play football.”
Sandy Greaves, CEO of Greaves Sports, said: “Congratulations to the latest set of Host Your Kit winners. We hope that wearing a top quality kit will make them feel very special.”
So just 10 adidas youth team kits remain to be won. Entries for the final round are due in by Friday July 20.
HYK gaffer says, ‘Make sure you tear yourselves away from Euro 2012 for long enough to get your entry in. If you’re not in it, you can’t win it!’