Bath Rugby, along with LV=SOS KitAid, have just returned from a trip to the Eastern Cape in South Africa after donating more than 100kgs of used rugby kit to four schools to a township in Port Elizabeth.
The idea for the four day trip was spawned almost a year ago in order to show where the clothing that is generously donated by rugby players, supporters and teams all over the country ends up. Following and filming one shirt on its journey from the training field at Bath Rugby to a primary school in Port Elizabeth the film will highlight how grateful the children and families who receive these donations really are.
For the last few years Bath Rugby have actively supported the charity with kit donations and collections and helped organise the trip with the help of former Bath Captain and current Eastern Kings Captain Luke Watson.
On arriving at the Emsengeni Primary in the Zwide township of Port Elizabeth the group, consisting of Bath and England players Nick Abendanon and Carl Fearns as well as Bath Rugby Marketing Director Jez Curwin and LV= SOS KitAid Director Richard Westaway, were greeted with the whole school singing and dancing to welcome them. The reception continued for almost an hour and then the kit was handed out to 4 different schools. Nick and Carl then spent another hour practising their skills, signing autographs and having photos taken amongst the children.
Talking about the experience Nick Abendanon said; "It was truly emotional morning. The joy and laughter that such a simple gesture brought to these kids' faces is special and something that will live with me forever. It is great to think that something that we no longer needed in England has given the people here such opportunity."
Richard Westaway added "This is what it is all about. Having the opportunity to witness what we have seen today is inspiring and makes all the volunteer work we do worth it. As a group we all agreed we have found this a humbling experience."
This is the start of a long term relationship between Bath Rugby, LV= SOS KitAid and the Kings as another pallet of kit will hopefully be making its way to the Cape in the autumn. And who knows, maybe we will see one of the boys grace the Rec in the future!
Find out more about LV=SOS Kit Aid by clicking here.