Christmas comes early for schools across Birmingham thanks to BBC Reclaim Sport

Thousands of kids across Birmingham have been kitted out to play their favourite team sports this Christmas thanks to BBC Reclaim Sport.

The kit collection initiative was launched ahead of BBC Sports Personality Of The Year which was hosted at Genting Arena on Sunday (18/12) to help nurture the next generation of sporting greats in Birmingham.

When the BBC Reclaim Sport team and England Hockey took some of the donations to Oasis Academy in Short Heath, Birmingham, Dave O’Brien, a volunteer hockey coach was moved to tears.

He said: “I’ve been choked all week about it because it’s going to make such a massive difference to the school. With the hockey kit we have got at the school already we only just about get by every week.”

“The kit we have is really old so they will be so proud to put this on for tournaments – having their own stick and a bag. You can just see from the reaction of the kids. They’re absolutely thrilled.”

Over the past six weeks, 50 collection cages across the city have been filled with unwanted sports gear by members of the public and sports organisations.

BBC Get Inspired has led the project in partnership with Birmingham City Council, Sport Birmingham, BBC WM and BBC Birmingham.

Donations have included trainers from Olympic sprinter Katharine Merry, ice-skating boots from BBC Breakfast presenter Louise Minchin’s daughter along with generous donations from England Golf, England Hockey, Basketball England, Badminton England, Lawn Tennis Association and the Football Association.

More than 80 schools and community sports clubs across Birmingham will receive donations – meaning thousands of children will get to enjoy sport with the kit they need.

As many of the donated goods have been given to schools and sports clubs for children as possible, any items that were unsuitable have been donated to other worthy causes.

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