Fund offers free football boots to kids in north Edinburgh

Two Young football teammates kicking a ball. Picture: TSPL
Two Young football teammates kicking a ball. Picture: TSPL
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Kids who can’t afford football boots will not be held back from playing sport after Sporting Start charity, launched in memory of passionate sportsman Martin Macari, announced funding for its first two causes.

The first project is in partnership with Spartans Community Football Academy and will support the north Edinburgh-based football charity’s “Street Football in a Safe Place” programme.

The money will go specifically towards establishing a “boot bank” to ensure primary school children have the opportunity to take part by borrowing appropriate footwear. Cash will also fund a community coach to support Granton Primary School with Saturday morning sport

Paul Macari, Martin’s cousin said: “We are really excited to be supporting our first projects and continuing Martin’s legacy.

“Martin was a pretty decent footballer and would have been delighted to have seen young children being able to play the sport particularly those that may not have got the chance just because they didn’t have the appropriate footwear.”

Aged just 47 when he died, Martin was a passionate advocate for the power and joy of sport, and led by role model example as player, coach and leader across multiple sports including rugby for Watsonians.

And it was his appetite for sport and rugby, cricket, football and squash that inspired his nearest and dearest to start a fund with the ambition of giving those who face barriers to inclusion in sport, the opportunity to participate. And last year three-time Calcutta Cup winner Jason White launched Sporting Start.

The second announcement is support for Lismore Rugby Club with their community youth programme to help fund the delivery of the rugby and personal development programme to the Castlebrae High School cluster of primary schools in Edinburgh.

This three year programme will cover the costs of staff time to deliver the programme and sports kit required for the participants.

Trustee Hugh Anderson said: “We are thrilled and delighted to be announcing our initial projects nine months after launching Sporting Start. Both highlight the barriers that some young people face in participating in sport and our support will enable more children to experience both the fun and the life skills that sport provides.” He added: “We are indebted to our funders who have made this possible and also to our partner organisation Spartans and Lismore for facilitating the programmes.”

fiona.pringle@jpress.co.uk