AFC Bournemouth has partnered with Vitality and MSP Capital to launch a new football boot recycling scheme, which aims to donate pre-loved boots or trainers to disadvantaged families throughout Bournemouth.
The campaign, Bring your Boots, launches as reports reveal that out of the 74% of families who admitted to being financially impacted by the pandemic, almost a fifth (18%) said they’d struggle to send their children back to grassroot clubs because of the cost of replacing outgrown items such as boots.*
The donations will help those who are unable to afford new trainers or boots in the local community through the club’s Community Sports Trust, which organises several projects, workshops, and schemes designed to help both adults and children take part in physical activities.
Members of the public can donate at two drop off points from Tuesday 22nd March, with the first being in the AFC Bournemouth Superstore. Fans will be able to leave donations there at any point during the week, subject to the store’s opening times.
The second drop off point will be in the Junior Fanzone on a home matchday, making it easy for supporters to leave any donated boots or trainers when visiting the stadium for a first team fixture. Vitality’s office in Bournemouth will also have a collection point to support the scheme and encourage donations.
James Hill, who signed on a permanent basis from Fleetwood Town in January, will be the campaign’s player ambassador and represents the first team squad in supporting the project.
Nick Read, Managing Director of the Vitality programme, said: “Supporting and enabling people to be active is at the very centre of what we do. We are delighted be part of this campaign, that will enable more people to take up or continue playing football.
"We know that keeping active can make a huge difference to our long-term health and encourage everyone to get behind this wonderful initiative and start donating.”
Martin Higgins, Managing Director of MSP Capital, AFC Bournemouth’s Principal Partner and front of shirt sponsor, also commented: “We’ve always seen our partnership with AFC Bournemouth as a way to not only support our local team, but the local community as well.
"This particular initiative is all about helping to provide vital opportunities for those children who are passionate about playing football but whose families can struggle to pay for kit. Now is the time to dust down those trusty boots that served you so well in the past and give them a new lease of life for someone else to enjoy.”
Steve Cuss, Head of Community at AFC Bournemouth, was also excited to be involved: “Physical activity has so many benefits and, through our community projects, we look to involve as many people from within community as possible.
"The boot recycling scheme removes a barrier for everyone to get active, as having the correct equipment is vital. We are very grateful to both MSP Capital and Vitality for their support with this initiative.”
Supporters should note, all footwear donated should be in a useable condition and have any additional accessories (for example, laces or studs) still attached to the shoe.
*Utilita State of Play Report taken from October 2020.
James Hill leads Bring Your Boots campaign