Tuesday 12 June 2012
The Premier League Players' Kit Scheme has re-opened, with schools and clubs encouraged to apply for kit for the new football season.
So far more than 700 teams have been selected by the Premier League Charitable Fund to receive the kits, which is a full set of strips and training gear.
The teams successfully applied for the Scheme at premierleague.com during the first two application periods this season.
A third and final application phase is now open and the Premier League is urging local clubs to get involved so that they can have brand new kit for the next football season.
Everton defender Leighton Baines helped launch the latest application phase when he visited his old primary school in Kirkby, Merseyside to hand over the free football kit and training equipment in person.
"I'm sure the kit will go to good use over the coming years"
- Leighton Baines
Baines surprised pupils by turning up to a special training session, which was being delivered by coaches from the club's official charity, Everton in the Community, and offered the youngsters tips and advice about the game before taking part in a question and answer session.
Speaking about the donation, Baines said: "It was great to come back and meet the kids and see some of my former teachers and it feels great to help the school out with the kit.
"I've got a cousin who works at the school who said they needed it. I’m not sure if they were still using the same kit from the time when I was here but by the sounds of it they might have been. The kids seem really happy and I'm sure it will go to good use over the coming years."
One of the 700 teams to benefit from the Premier League Players' Kit Scheme was Bolton Woods Junior Football Club in Bradford, and General Manager Tony Miller explained how significant the kit would be.
"Bolton Woods focuses on socially and economically deprived areas of the city," said Miller. "We aim to help young people overcome feelings of isolation and to break down territorialism in a relaxed and non-competitive atmosphere through sport.
"We had tried many times to secure funding for new kit so to get it free courtesy of Premier League Players' Kit Scheme is just fantastic.
"This support has given our club a sense of pride that the Premier League had taken a positive step in recognising us."
The third and final application phase is now open until June 13th and the Premier League is urging local clubs to apply for free kit.