In the week he conquered Europe with his Liverpool FC team mates, Andy Robertson is throwing his weight behind his old club’s charitable quest.
As it approaches its 20th Festival over the weekends of June 8/9 and 15/16, Giffnock Soccer Centre is partnering with charity ECRAD to collect 1000 football strips to be sent to Malawi.
And the Liverpool star and Scotland captain is supporting the appeal, encouraging the public to get behind his former team’s appeal.
Standing for empowerment, counselling, relief and development, ECRAD Scotland was established in 2000 and is a charity which works together with ECRAD Malawi to implement a programme of improvements to alleviate the suffering and deprivation brought about by the HIV/Aids virus.
Since HIV was discovered in the early 1980s the majority of those dying with this disease are young adults with young families.
The orphaned children in the villages in Malawi have insufficient food, care and clothing resulting in a high mortality rate.
ECRAD funds the daily feeding programme of one nutritious meal for 400 orphans at the Zioya Orphan Centre, Ntcheu, Malawi.
These children are aged 3-15 years old.
The charity is linking with Giffnock’s Soccer Centre’s Festival as the focal point for a collection of all sportswear and water bottles which will be shipped to South East Africa.
Debbie McDougall, from ECRAD, said: “It’s great to work with Giffnock Soccer Centre in this way. Their festival is attended by hundreds of families and it’s terrific to see football used as a force for good.
“With the provision of sportswear from the club, children will have a new top and shorts for daily wear.
“They usually only have one or two tops that last them until they are too ragged to continue to wear. This clothing will allow them to change more frequently during the week. The children will also keep a team’s worth of shorts and tops to allow them to play in uniform at the soccer games and tournaments.
“This is a rarity for them but enables them to play with so much pride. The winters in Malawi can actually be cold for the Malawians and they usually wear a hoodie or a jacket, so outerwear is also always welcome.”
Derek Clark, from Giffnock Soccer Centre, said: “We are lucky as a club to have fantastic facilities and kit for the kids to enjoy their football.
“When we heard about the amazing work of ECRAD we felt we could help out.
“Old kit often gets flung into a cupboard and forgotten about but it really can make the difference to lives thousands of miles away.
“With the Champions League Final – and Andy Robertson’s success with Liverpool – we have seen what can be achieved through dedication and hard work. We feel as a community club we also have a role to play.”
If you have old strips, training tops, shorts, tracksuits, rainwear, boots, water bottles or other kit that may be useful to others in less fortunate circumstances, please bring them to Eastwood Park, Giffnock, or better still, the stall ECRAD will have at the Giffnock Soccer Centre Football Festival at Norwood Playing Fields, 132 Dumbreck Road.