• Get your kit off – and support Project Fair Play

    Football is one of those sports that has the ability to appeal to everyone. Whether you’re a kid kicking a worn-out ball around the park, a keen fan in the stalls every weekend come rain or shine, or an international sporting hero with feet worth millions – football ignites passion and forges communities.

    We all have our favourite teams and players, but sometimes we can ignore the rivalries and banter to come together and be united in our passion for the beautiful game.

    This is why our Project Fair Play campaign is inspiring so many of you to get involved – it uses the sport to help people at home and away and gives all footie fans the chance to lend their support.

    We’re calling on people to donate any unwanted footie shirts – whether that’s last season’s kit or tops the kids have outgrown. It doesn’t matter what club or how out-dated they are, they will be put to good use just the same.

    Already we have had thousands of donations, but we want to beat the total from Project Fair Play 2010 when we collected a staggering 20,000 shirts, so we need more! It’s a really easy way for you to get involved in a fantastic project without having to put your hands in your pockets.

    Project Fair Play will take the shirts directly to disadvantaged youngsters in Brazil’s favelas (slums) so that they can feel a real part of the World Cup excitement. There are beneficiary projects in Parada de Lucas, Santa Teresa and Rocinha favelas, where dozens of kids struggle to get clean water each day and often don’t have access to education.

    British youngsters will also benefit, as some shirts will be recycled for cash for the Wheelchair Football Association, which governs powerchair football in the UK and works to give disabled youngsters access to the sport.

    We’re really excited about giving kids in Brazil and in Britain a sporting chance at life and ensuring they can be part of the wonderful football community that we all love.

    All you have to do to be part of the project is drop off an unwanted footie shirt, but if you want to go the extra mile then you could have a shirt amnesty day at school or arrange a collection at your workplace.

    We’re also really keen to get local football teams involved – perhaps you have just invested in new kit and want to send the old shirts to a good home? Or maybe you have current shirts that the mud just won’t wash out of – we can recycle these and raise money for the project.

    Next time you’re having a five-a-side match with your mates after work, or heading down to the ground on Saturday with the kids, please think about what football means to you and how you could share that passion with disadvantaged kids. www.projectfairplay.org.uk

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