Corsham charity director teams up with Bath Rugby to help underprivileged young sports fans
11:00am Friday 22nd June 2012 in News
By Craig Jones
Richard Westaway, director of the LV= SOS Kit Aid charity with Jez Curwin, Bath Rugby commercial manager, Ollie Cox from Bath Rugby TV and Mike Fellowes, MD of sponsors Mercedes Benz of Swindon, with some of the kit
A Neston man has taken a consignment of kit and rugby equipment, donated by Bath Rugby, to underprivileged children in Port Elizabeth, South Africa.
Richard Westaway, regional director of LV= SOS Kit Aid, set off from the Methuen Arms, in Corsham High Street, on Wednesday.
He is delivering about 60 assorted kits to disadvantaged youngsters, through visits to townships and schools.
Since being set up in 2001, the charity has given an estimated 90,000 sports kits to children in 19 developing countries.
For the latest trip, Mr Westaway’s first visit to donate kit in South Africa, the charity teamed up with Bath Rugby and South African team Southern Kings, which former Bath player Luke Watson now
Mr Westaway, who has played and coachedthe game, said: “I’ve been part of this project for six years and it is hugely heart-warming to see the children’s faces when they get the kit.
“It cannot be underestimated, the difference that a delivery of kit can make to these children.
“Not only does it give them an opportunity to play rugby, but being part of a rugby team can also keep them away from crime, drugs and alcoholism.
“We deliver to some of the most underprivileged children, who are so desperate to play rugby, they are willing to play barefoot on Tarmac because they don’t have the right equipment.
“Our deliveries show not only that there are people, like Bath Rugby and Southern Kings, who are willing to help and take an interest in them, but also that they have the chance to brighten their
futures through sport.”
During the trip, which lasts until Monday, deliveries to South African children are being filmed as part of a feature documentary which LV= SOS Kit Aid hope will be made into a DVD.
Mr Westaway said: “We are filming this project, from receiving the kits from our friends at Bath Rugby to going out to South Africa for the drop off with Luke Watson at the Southern Kings.
“This is massively exciting for us, as we’ve never filmed our trips before, so this is new territory for us, and, hopefully, this will allow people to understand what we do.
“I’d like to say thanks to our key project sponsors, Marks Spencer and Uniserve, as well as Mercedes Benz of Swindon, who are supplying the transport to and from Heathrow.”
Mr Westaway hopes some of Bath Rugby’s England internationals may come and support LV= SOS Kit Aid, while they are in Port Elizabeth for the third Test against South Africa tomorrow.
Gareth Chilcott, a former Bath and England player and LV=SOS KitAid ambassador, said: “This is a great initiative and it’s wonderful to see the partnerships develop.
“Bath and LV= SOS Kit Aid already have a good working relationship, so it’s fantastic to build on this support and be able to help a new group of children, who otherwise may not get the opportunity
to play the game of rugby.”
For details, or to donate kit, visit www.lvsoskitaid.com.
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