AFRICA CALLING” FOR THE GLENTORAN COMMUNITY TRUST
In August 2007 The Glentoran Community Trust moved to assist the groundbreaking “Glentoran Football Academy” in Ghana by making every one of the 75 children and 15 staff at the Sunyani Academy members of the GCT. It’s a process which generated much needed funds for Christopher Antoh Forsythe and his dedicated team of volunteers who run the project.
The GCT had been contacted by Christopher in a plea for help, and since been in touch both by phone and by e-mail.
We agreed with the Academy in Sunyani to produce for them a dedicated badge, created by GCT member Clifford Logan. Pictured right the badge incorporates the flag of Ghana and the traditional colours and cockerel of Glentoran.
The Academy is based in the North of Ghana seven hours drive from the capital Accra.
Priced £3, the badge was to be a limited edition and all profits from the sale was to make the kids and staff from the Academy members of the GCT, but THEN, those same profits (including all membership subscriptions) would go directly to Chris in Ghana to either help secure new premises for the Academy or to purchase much needed equipment. To further bolster the amount of money the GCT could raise for the Ghana Glentoran Academy, the ever popular fixture cards were also produced for the 2007-08 season, sold for 50 pence each, and all profit from the sales once again going directly to the children in Ghana.
Christopher wrote “It was marvellous talking to you this evening. We do appreciate all what our friends from GCT wants to do for us and it is our hope and dream that one day which is going to be very soon, one of our lads here will be wearing the famous Glentoran Jersey. Please help us with this venture as the Academy is about so much more than football.”
£3,000 for Ghana Academy!
The board of the Glentoran Community Trust are delighted to reveal that as of 20th September 2007 the Glentoran Football Academy Ghana is now in receipt of a donation of £3,000, a sum raised by Glentoran supporters over the last month, a huge amount and will go a long way to securing the future of the Academy.
This incredible sum was achieved through sponsorship of Academy staff, players and coaches, and through the sale of specially commissioned Ghana Glens pin badges and the ever popular fixture cards.
Profiles and updates will appear throughout the season, and due to the phenomenal interest shown in the project the GCT will undertake to investigate the possibility of bringing one of the teams to Belfast in the near future. This may or may not be feasible, already we have researched the costings which appear to run well into five figures for flights alone. We have no experience in putting together an exercise such as this and would welcome any input from any source.
The GCT has liaised with Glentoran chairman Stafford Reynolds who has generously agreed to provide further kit for the children.
Several people have already suggested the possibility of the Academy participating in the Milk or Foyle Cup or as part of a mini tournament against our Belfast based Under 14 side under the Oval lights. Ideas such as these always have humble beginnings and then somehow take on a life of their own. We have made tentative enquiries through fellow Trust member Sammy Douglas about the Academy taking part in a racial awareness week in East Belfast some time next year. Who knows where this will take us.
We are also aware that last season’s home and away strip can be purchased from Umbro International in the required youth sizes for a much reduced price if any club or individual is interested in sponsoring an updated set of playing strip. Many of the sponsors of the children have made contact with the GCT website asking us to find out shoe sizes etc in order to send the children boots and small gifts. We will continue to liaise with the staff in Ghana as long as these requests keep coming in.
The Africa Calling project has been nothing short of remarkable.
The generosity of Glentoran players, staff and supporters never ceases to amaze. We have had the fantastic experience of speaking with some of the children who are benefiting from the project first hand and all those who have helped raise the money should feel immensely proud.
To enquire about the child that you have sponsored or to assist in any way please do not hesitate to contact us.
Well Done and Thank You All.
Le Jeu Avant Tout