‘Kits for Kenya’ initiative

AN ARBROATH man has joined forces with the organiser of soccer schools in Wales to provide football kits and equipment for under-privileged children and young men in Kenya.

Lindsay Fraser (39), George Street, has teamed up with Reeco Reese to set up the ‘Kits for Kenya’ initiative which can be found at www.kitsforkenya.co.uk.

Lindsay is a native ‘Red Lichtie’ and has lived in Arbroath all his life. He is married to Shirelle Cargill and the couple have three children.

He completed his apprenticeship as a welder at JM Henderson before moving to Halliburton, Montrose, where he worked for 11 years. He then moved to FMC in Aberdeen and now works at Talisman Energy in Aberdeen.

Lindsay told the Arbroath Herald: “Basically we are setting up a ‘Kits For Kenya’ initiative. We are looking to supply football equipment such as kits, boots, trainers, balls, shin pads, etc., to the people of Miwani, Kenya.

“Miwani is an extremely deprived area where HIV, drug abuse, prostitution and crime have hit very high levels. There is an estimated 17,000 orphans in this area of Kenya with the major local business and hospital now closed down.”

Lindsay explained that six years ago a young local man started the Miwani football tournament, with six teams taking part in the first tournament. This has now grown to 31 teams in the last tournament with about 8,000 local spectators.

He went on: “Kennedy Odhiambo and Gabriel Oguda are the co-organisers of this tournament and to be quite honest with you, they are an inspiration to me. Through all the despair and depravity there is one common thread with the two of them - Hope and Football.

“They give a lot of hope to the people of Miwani and for two young men they have a special talent and bags of compassion. Both Kennedy and Gabriel studied at university, with Gabriel spending two years at Bergen University before going back to Kenya. This is what inspires me. Most of those who escape poverty do not go back, but he did and I feel the reason was to help his people.”

Lindsay’s UK partner, Reeco Reese, runs Reeco’s soccer schools in Swansea. He was assistant director of youth development at Swansea City which is now in the English Premiership.

Lindsay explained: “Reeco has a story to tell and that is that football kept him on the right path in life. After one knock after another it would have been easy for him to follow the wrong path, but he chose not to. Football helped him do that and he now wants to help other people.

“We are hoping to get help from the former Arsenal, West Ham and Celtic player John Hartson with the website launch this week. Reeco is friendly with John and knowing his compassionate side, he will do something for us.

“Our website should be live by the end of the week.”