Danny
Michela Johnson

Member Article

Sponsorship for Kenyan village grows thanks to a one-man football boots crusade

Blackpool’s Daniel Burns gave up playing amateur level football when he was struck down by injury, but he has since undertaken a noble mission to help less fortunate children in Kenya realise their football dreams.

His mission began, some three years ago when he began to sponsor ‘Sunderland AFC Keroche’ and over this time has contributed to helping young Kenyan football enthusiasts travel 20 miles to play for their local team by raising necessary funds for kit, supplies and transport.

Daniel joins a host of personal and professional sponsors for the team including Tombola, Hays Travel, Northern Freight Services and TF Shipping who have offered a wealth of support to the growing campaign.

Daniel is now working alongside both Fleetwood Town and Blackpool Supporters Association to persuade as many people as he can, to donate football boots to the team in the hope they will one day progress and play in the Kenyan Premier League.

There is also hope that the football clubs can become involved in working in conjunction with Kenyan players to strengthen links between the UK and Kenya, potentially scouting for talent in the village and ploughing money back into the area.

Daniel, 39, said: “The long term plan is to get some of the lads into the Kenyan national team firstly at youth level and then hopefully the full team to give them greater chances of going professional”.

“We are in talks with various clubs to see whether there is future potential to scout talent and gain trials for the talented players for UK clubs. This would then give greater scope to put money back into the village as players would send 10% of their earnings straight back home and it would give the village funds to invest in not just football but education, business opportunities and lots more, the possibilities are endless”.

The young club initially chose the name Sunderland in the hope of attracting support from football fans in the North-East of England and Daniel, himself an avid Sunderland AFC fan, couldn’t resist getting involved.

He added: “What people don’t realise is that a pair of football boots over here will last for ages, but in Kenya the ground is much harder so they only last for four or five months”.

Daniel’s campaign has quickly gathered pace and this week he is set to take a delivery of over 80 pairs of football boots, which have been donated from across the Fylde coast area, to Durham later this week from where they will be shipped to Africa.

Due to the overwhelming support he has received, Daniel has agreed to continue the appeal and collect more football boots to help the team achieve their dreams.

Daniel stressed that there were many ways to get involved, even if you don’t have football boots to donate. “Anyone can get involved either on a personal level, or as part of a business and for those who do go on to sponsor the team, we can also offer a link back to their website via the charity’s site”.

“You can sponsor a player for as little as £25 and it is just phenomenal to see the effect that the sponsorship has had on the village so far.”

If you would like to find out more about sponsorship or see the progress of the village and the team themselves, then please visit www.safc-keroche.com

This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by Michela Johnson .

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