Shoreham College dad takes football shirts to Mumbai

The Oscar Foundation supports more than 3,000 children across Mumbai and India

The Oscar Foundation supports more than 3,000 children across Mumbai and India

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Parents and pupils at Shoreham College have contributed dozens of outgrown football shirts after a father’s request to help a sports charity.

The collected garments have been donated to the Oscar Foundation, a charity which works with more than 3,000 children across Mumbai and India. The charity, founded by Ashok Shankar Rathod in 2006, uses football to instil the value of education and empowers underprivileged children with life skills to take responsibility for their community development.

Some of the children who work with the foundation

Some of the children who work with the foundation

On receiving the donated shirts, Ashok sent a personal message of thanks to the pupils of Shoreham College.

In the message, he said: “Knowing kids elsewhere in the world care means a lot; we are so grateful to you and your school for helping”.

The request for the shirts was made by the father of Year Seven pupil Ben Trigg. Jon Trigg was planning to make the trip, along with his sons, to Mumbai to help coach the kids at the Foundation and present the shirts to them personally.

Jon said: “I had previously visited in December and saw how positive and happy the people were and just knew I had to take the boys. The motivation for me was for them to see how the other half live, and understand that the lives we live are not a right, but a privilege and that happiness cannot be bought. Some of the boys live on the streets, the lucky ones share a room with up to nine other family members, but their smiles are infectious.”

Children with some of the donated shirts

Children with some of the donated shirts

“We were all blown away with Ashok and everyone at the Oscar Foundation and we will be going back on an annual basis to spend time in the community and try to help.”

Jon is currently looking to set up fundraising activities to pay for a coach and extra space. He also hopes to be involved with an initiative to bring some of the children over to play football against UK schools in October.

Further details about the charity can be found at www.oscar-foundation.org.

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