More than 20 boxes of old sports kit have been donated by the Students’ Union to help an underprivileged school in Africa.
Polo shirts, hoodies, tracksuit bottoms, rain jackets and sports shirts were included in the stash, enabling Mtonda Parkmead School in Malawi to set up a football and netball team for the first time. In addition, pupils are using Students’ Union campus bags to carry their belongings to and from lessons.
The donation comes on the back of the Union changing its sports brand to Northampton Student Sport, with all its clubs now wearing new kit with a new logo.
Rafael Garcia-Krailing, Students’ Union President, said: “After selling some of our old kit to students, we thought it was important that the rest did not go to waste.
“After learning about the school from one of our permanent staff members, we decided to give the stash to this very worthy cause. Participants in the two new teams can now enjoy the health benefits of playing sport, as well as develop valuable virtues such as teamwork, problem-solving and respect.
“Our organisation always strives for ways in which we can have a positive impact on a community and make a difference. I am delighted that we have been able to do this here.”
School patron Shamsha Egelhof said: “I am truly humbled that the Students’ Union has chosen to support our school. This almost brought me to tears. I collect anything for the school, new or old, so for the students, this will be such a joy.
“Also, I was shocked to see the colours of the kit are gold and maroon – the same as the school!”
Shamsha was approached by a parent to start the secondary school, after the previous institution ran into financial problems. It opened in 2014 with just five pupils, but this number has since increased to in excess of 50.
She added: “At the outset, I knew money would be a problem and so used what I had to purchase desperately-needed items, such as books and stationery.
“The building was also dilapidated and had to be repaired. But I got local people involved to help and, before long, the place had changed its face.
“There is a lot of work still to be done in and around the building, but every single moment is an absolute pleasure. These children are just so keen to study and are very grateful for any act that will improve their experience, no matter how small. What the Union has done cannot be compared.”
You can find more information about the Students’ Union on their website.