December 17 Update: The collection period is now over. I would like to thank everyone who contributed to the project. Once the items have been delivered I will post details including photos.
Big thanks to:
Garry Curnew and Tedd Konya for driving the equipment to Philly to hand off to Craig Carty
the entire 2009 O’Grady’s Irish Creamers team: Because of everyone’s willingness to get your jerseys to me, the Mdantsane Mountain Birds team will now have their own shirts.
While I was in Africa I had the great fortune to meet the Mdantsane Mountain Birds football team. I was the guest of their coach Sandile, who introduced me to the team and gave me an overview of the state of football in Mdantsane Village. Bottom line: they need equipment and kits (and for more detail read the original post here). Craig, Sandile and I had an impromptu round-table and here’s what emerged:
1) There is a great need for usable kits and equipment in Mdantsane Village. Though the players are provided jerseys and shorts, they share their kits with the under-15s. Players are required to provide their own cleats and shin guards, and at least one player had no boots of his own. He had to wait until the opening game ended to borrow cleats.
2) Craig and I were each certain that we could locate equipment through our soccer-related networks in the west.
3) Customs tariffs, delays, and the myserious disappearances of goods make shipping anything but cash inconvenient at best, and futile at worst.
4) Craig will be travelling to Philly in December and can take back as much equipment as he can carry.
Thus it was agreed that we would do an Mdantsane Village Soccer Kit Drive. Preliminary efforts have yielded a bit of space in a car travelling from Toronto to Philly in December (thanks Tedd and Garry!), and I have already received some equipment.
Most needed items include: Cleats, shin guards, socks and shorts. Jerseys also needed and welcomed but should be in sets (minimum 14).
If you need a bit of inspiration about how soccer can change the world, read here.