FROM ROTARY NEWTON AYCLIFFE TO MOMBASA
A couple of months ago, Bernard Borsberry visited Rotary Newton Aycliffe to speak about his recent trip away and how he became interested in supporting youth football in a distant land. He told us that earlier in the year, he was due to arrive in South Africa for a holiday but because the country was placed on the Covid red list, he was detoured to other accommodation in Shanzu Mombasa in Kenya.
When the hotel pool attendant, who was also the island’s football coach, discovered in conversation that Bernard was a coach in the UK, it led to each of them sharing their experiences of the game. The rest was history, as they say. The name of the coach was Ahmed, and Bernard soon discovered that the team had nothing in the way of equipment except two very worn footballs, and they played in bare feet on a dirt pitch which was stony and, without the proper footwear, hard going.
Bernard said, ‘I could not turn away from this situation in Shanzu so I first bought them new footballs then I set up a Just Giving page which soon resulted in enough cash to buy strips, first aid kits and cones. Following my visit to Rotary Newton Aycliffe, a donation from the club enabled Ahmed to buy 15 pairs of boots from the local market which he shares between two teams.’
Ahmed had some money left and when asked ‘what next’, he replied that he would buy pencils and exercise books as the local school had nothing. Ahmed and the school formed a connection with the pupils by offering football with all the exciting new equipment if they agreed to attend school. This is a great example of how young people might be encouraged into education through sport. Well done, Bernard!!
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