Disadvantaged young people from London who have limited or no access to sport received cricket and rugby kit donated to LV= SOS Kit Aid this weekend at Lord’s Cricket Ground. The day represents the next step in the award-winning scheme’s ambitious pledge to recycle an incredible 20,000kgs of sporting equipment by the end of the year.
LV= SOS Kit Aid, in partnership with The Lord’s Taverners, provides disadvantaged youngsters in the UK and overseas with recycled cricket and rugby kit. Kit collected at Lord’s will be used to directly benefit the Hitz rugby initiative. In partnership with the Metropolitan Police, Hitz targets young people at risk of exclusion and anti-social behaviour in inner-London estates. Introducing them to tag, touch and contact rugby, Hitz uses the sport as a means to engage, empower and raise aspirations.
The action-packed day kicked off with Middlesex CCC and Kent CCC players donating some of their own kit to LV= SOS Kit Aid before the first day of their LV= County Championship match got under way. To encourage as many people as possible to donate kit, Middlesex CCC offered free entry for anyone donating a piece of kit, plus free cricket and rugby coaching sessions hosted by The Lord’s Taverners in the afternoon.
Encouraging people to support the day, Middlesex captain, Neil Dexter, said, “Access to sport is vital for kids everywhere, be it here in London or on the other side of the world. Too many young people around the world don’t enjoy the benefits of sport due to a lack of resources, particularly kit, which makes LV= SOS Kit Aid so important. It couldn’t be simpler – just give your unwanted kit to LV= SOS Kit Aid rather than taking it to the local rubbish tip and someone, somewhere will be able to play cricket or rugby for the first time.”
David Smith, LV= HR and communications director, said: “Playing sport helps children learn vital life skills and yet many children are unable to participate in sports such as cricket and rugby as they do not have the right kit for it. By redistributing unwanted sports kit among children from disadvantaged communities we can help them access a wider range of sports that they might not have otherwise tried.”
The campaign has the backing of celebrity ambassadors including former England cricket captains Mike Gatting and Allan Lamb, England rugby star James Haskell and England and Bath rugby heroes Gareth Chilcott and Matt Perry.