Richard Thomson, the Member of Parliament for Gordon, is supporting the new Football Rebooted campaign which passes ‘pre-played’ boots onto families struggling to afford them.
Launched by smart energy supplier Utilita and former England and Premier League goalkeeper, David James MBE, the campaign has been created to help recycle at least one million pairs of football boots and astro boots, saving families a small fortune, as well as 136,000 tonnes of carbon – the equivalent of taking 7,000 cars off the road for a year.
The ‘donate and claim’ campaign enables anyone with spare football boots or astro boots to request a Freepost ‘boot bag’ to donate their boots. Their boots will then be put to one of many claim stations that will pop up in parks, training grounds and some of the UK’s largest football clubs. Premium pairs of the ‘most wanted’ retro boots and former and current players’ boots and other items will also be in the mix, giving anyone a chance to come along and grab a pair to be proud of.
Mr Thomson MP commented: “When you get a new pair of boots, it’s common to kick off and discard the old ones. Instead, donate your shoes and someone from a struggling family could get the chance to play football thanks to those secondhand boots. I would encourage everyone with an interest in playing football to take part in the initiative. No one should be left out of sports because of their ability to purchase clothing or equipment. By donating old boots, we will also stop wearable shoes from ending up in landfill. If this campaign is successful, it would be great to see it recreated in other sports.”
Utilita found that out of the 74% of families impacted financially by the pandemic, 18% would be unable to send their children back to football as they cannot afford boots and kit. With pride being a barrier to boots, this scheme helps those struggling families avoid accepting charity from people they know and also positively impacts the environment by reducing the number of boots put to landfill.
Campaign ambassador, David James MBE, said: “Right now, there are millions of pairs of football boots that people have grown out of or replaced and we need to make sure they don’t end up in landfill. Getting these boots replayed through Utilita’s Football Rebooted campaign will not only save players a few quid but will also act as an important reminder about the power of upcycling and reusing items that still have a lot of life left in them. “
Bill Bullen, founder of Utilita said: “Most consumers are becoming more thoughtful about how their choices impact the environment, but sometimes life gets in the way of making the right choice. That’s why we have created Football Rebooted, which makes recycling football boots with plenty of life left in them really easy.”
Premier League and EFL clubs across the UK, including Portsmouth, Southampton, Derby County and Leeds United, have already signed up to donate the football boots worn by their academy players, while first-team players have also donated their own boots in the interests of the environment. As part of the new campaign, schools can request boots be sent to them for children who they identify as needing football boots to enable them to play in or outside of school.
Find out more about the campaign at www.footballrebooted.co.uk