An exciting new scheme to enhance children’s access to outdoor activity and extend Pembrokeshire’s already excellent recycling performance into the sports arena is currently being piloted in four schools.
The ‘Football Boot Re-Cycling and Re-Use’ project is a collaboration between Sports Pembrokeshire, Education, Haverfordwest County Football, Pembroke RFC and PAVS members, who are passionate about encouraging responsible use of sports equipment and keeping children active.
“We recognise that children quickly grow out of football and rugby boots, sometimes requiring a new pair each season,” said Sarah Harvey, Children and Families Community Connector.
“As a result, old boots are often in excellent condition, and given the climate emergency, we believe that responsible re-use of such items will reduce waste, and at the same time hopefully encourage more activity among young people across Pembrokeshire.”
The pilot has seen boots donated in their dozens directly to the four schools in the pilot – Pembroke Dock Community School, St Mark’s School, Golden Grove School and Milford Haven School - and the next phase will see parents at the pilot schools being able to request boots that have been donated via the scheme.
If the scheme is a success then the group will look to roll it out across the whole of Pembrokeshire.
Ben Field of Sports Pembrokeshire said: “The aim is that re-use of boots for rugby and football via this scheme, will become the norm across Pembrokeshire.
“We are hopeful that parents and young people alike will get behind the scheme that will see them contribute a small bit to recycling as well as to sports development.”
Cllr Cris Tomos, Cabinet Member for the Environment, said: “It’s great to see schemes such as this, ensuring that we maximise recycling of sports items such as rugby and football boots within Pembrokeshire.
Cris added: "I will be encouraging sports clubs to get involved and especially within the juniors section so that boots can be passed on to young people as they regularly require new larger boots. I’d like to thank all families that are getting involved.”
· The scheme does not require a donation of boots in order to request boots. If you, your community group or your sports club are interested in being involved in this scheme now or in the future, or if you have boots to donate, you can contact Sarah Harvey via email@example.com and Ben Field via firstname.lastname@example.org
Pictured are James Devonald, Goalkeeping Coach at Haverfordwest County AFC and Michele Thomas, Headteacher of Pembroke Dock Community School.