Seaburn pupils give sporting chance to African kids

Primary school pupils in Sunderland are giving children in one of the world’s poorest countries a sporting chance to get kitted out for the beautiful game.

Football mad youngsters in Liberia
Football mad youngsters in Liberia

Children at Seaburn Dene Primary, in Torver Crescent, collected dozens of pairs of football boots for junior players in the West African country of Liberia.

The boots, and a set of football strips, have been given to the Onside Football and Peace Network, which runs four grassroots teams for children aged from seven to 14 to educate and support – particularly girls – through access to organised sport.

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The group’s UK-based organiser Ged Naughton picked up the shipment and was delighted with the donation – one of two that the school aim to collect this year.

Ged Naughton

He said: “It’s great that we’re finally getting the shipment under way, and now we can start planning for next year. The last time we got any stuff to Liberia was in April 2019, so they’re desperate for replacements.

"They keep the boots for special games, but even then, they don’t last long on dry, rocky surfaces.”

Liberia is still rebuilding after being badly hit during the Ebola outbreak in 2014 which killed more than 4,000 from a population of just over four million .

The outbreak, followed a 14-year civil war.

John Howe

John Howe, headteacher at Seaburn Dene, said, “Sport and PE sit at the heart of our school curriculum, helping our children connect with their local community and internationally.

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“This cause has allowed us to link two of our goals broadening the children’s understanding, while making real connections for, what we hope, are the global citizens of the future.”