• Emma Lovell

Little Kids, Big Boots!

The mercury’s falling and the footy fields calling, but for two local youngsters, their pre-season has consisted of inspirational charitable endeavours.

Aimee, buried in boots

Aimee Lovell, Curl Curl On Aimee’s first day at school this year, kids were given the task of devising a passion project of their choosing, something that could make a positive difference to the world. Aimee has two huge passions in life, Sports and Fast Cars! Her first instinct was to find a way for fast cars to be more environmentally friendly, but that aim was perhaps a tad too lofty, and Brother Elon Musk has it covered anyhow. How about Sports? She set her sights on collecting pre-loved sports gear and re-distributing it to less privileged communities.

“We’re so lucky on the Northern Beaches, when we grow out of our gear, we head to the shops and get new kit, but others around the world aren’t as lucky. I figured, if I can encourage our community to dig through their wardrobe and pull out all of the gear they have sitting around, we can help make a huge difference to under-privileged kids and help them enjoy and excel at sport more.”

She partnered with the Reagan Milstein Foundation and the shout out went to schools, clubs, Facebook groups. Her enthusiasm saw the community pull together in a big way. “We were buried in boots and soccer gear!” So far, Aimee has collected 450kgs(!!) of gear, all on its way to The Pacific Islands. If you want to get involved, please contact Aimee’s mum: emmalovell@hotmail.com and help get more Beaches sporting goods to where they’ll be cherished around the world.

George presents his novelty size cheque

George Cleary, Allambie George, a fourth-grader from Allambie Public School and Allambie Jets U/10s was at the breakfast table one morning when he said to his father: “Who in the world can we help, dad?” Eyes barely leaving the sports pages his father replied, “Few options, son. Why don’t you go and grab that globe and we’ll spin it and find someone.”

George headed to his bedroom and returned with the globe. He sat it on the table and gave it a spin, landing on a big chunk of ocean in the South Pacific. The nearest land or indeed archipelago of islands was: The Kingdom of Tonga. George went to Google. The charity “Youth In Union” was found. Setup by former Manly Marlins player Eddie Aholelei and championed by Brumbies No.8 Lachie McCaffrey, its mission is to provide rugby equipment and training for the people of Tongan islands, and also Samoa and Fiji.

George had found his cause. And away he went, running with it, to Go Fund Me, to Facebook, to Twitter and beyond. Within four weeks he'd raised $1000 for Youth In Union, money which will go to equipment, training and school programs on the islands. At a ceremony at Community Bank Freshwater, George handed over an over-sized cheque to Ali Donnan, chair of Youth In Union, gear steward for Harbord Harlequins and a former physiotherapist for the Tongan national rugby team. “We’ve got sheds full of boots and equipment," Donnan said at the ceremony. "And people ready to go. And when Covid allows us to travel, this money will help us distribute it to the people and run training programs. We can’t thank George enough.”


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