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Grant for kit gives Strood’s woodpeckers a flying start to football training

Boys at Strood’s Woodpecker Football Club can look forward to sporting new kit as training resumes.

From Press releases - 13 July 2020 12:00 AM

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The 10 players in the Under-9s team are celebrating a £250 Team Sport Award from UK Power Networks, which will go towards the cost of new training tops and shorts.

Matthew Hogg, who works in the company’s major projects team, nominated the club where he volunteers as team manager and son Eddie, seven, is a player.

Matthew said: “It is really exciting for the boys because it means we can buy them a new kit they can wear for training. They can all come to training wearing the same. It makes them feel part of the team and turns training into more than just a kick about with their friends.

“Looking the part helps the boys to feel positive about playing for the club. Sponsorship and grants are great because they help us keep down the costs of training. Running a football club and being in a league is an expensive business and we don’t want anyone to feel they can’t be part of something like this. Having the same kit makes everyone equal.”

The team has just resumed training following easing of pandemic lockdown restrictions. They train at Temple Mill Primary School, in Strood, and compete in the Medway Messenger Youth League on Sunday mornings, though competitive matches are yet to restart.

Matthew added: “We shouldn’t underestimate the social, physical and psychological benefits of kids playing team sports. Being outside and running around is good for fitness, but in terms of self-discipline, confidence, decision-making, resilience and respect for others, a team sport is best. They enjoy it and don’t realise they are learning.” 

The Team Sport Award scheme is run by UK Power Networks to encourage staff to volunteer in the community and is aimed at promoting healthy living, teamwork and developing sports opportunities. So far this year, more than 70 local sports teams connected to UK Power Networks’ staff have benefitted.