The power of sport to inspire is fantastic to see. I wanted to share two very small examples of where small gestures have made big differences.
Over the winter period, we teamed up with Puma, Hector Bellerin and B-Engaged. Puma donated huge boxes of football boots and we distributed them to Noah’s Ark Kids Hospice and a number of local hospitals. The kids loved their illuminous boots (even though I’m more of a black boot traditionalist!). It made a small but real difference to the youngsters over the festive period at an otherwise tremendously difficult time for them and their families.
Hector explained that:
“Puma were fantastic in helping put together a number of gift boxes for the kids. It’s important to give something back to the community and I hope in my small way that it made a difference.”
The second example happened recently. The guys at the fantastic charity Football Aid watched a moving BBC documentary about Ahmed Fawad. He lost a leg during the civil war in Afghanistan and could not even afford the money to buy a ball to play football. He is now playing for Arsenal’s disability team and is studying for a degree in the UK. Again, B-Engaged knew the community team at Arsenal and connected them with Football Aid. Football Aid put on pitch day events so that fans can live their dream and play on the pitch in the kit.
Arsenal have been a fantastic supporter of Football Aid and through the foresight of B-Engaged, Football Aid and Arsenal in the Community, it was arranged for the Arsenal disabled team, including Ahmed, to live the dream, (take a morning off work!) and play on the pitch. In culminated in a great half-time penalty shoot-out.