Richlands FC boys boot up a collection for Ghana players
Forest Lake football player Bryn Richards and three of his teammates spent their school holidays on an exciting UK training tour and they have come home with a new passion for helping others play their sport.
Bryn, 9, and his friends Elijah Barwick, Phoenix Thatcher and Musa Tanudjaja, who play with the Lions FC at Richlands, were chosen for the UK tour organised by Pro Soccer Global and Euro Football Star.
Together the two companies organise football training tours giving players from Australia and other countries the chance to improve their skills and knowledge.
The boys were given the chance to play and train with some of the greatest football teams in the UK, visit stadiums and see three premier league games.
Bryn was doubly lucky receiving a full scholarship for his tour costs.
But, little did he know when he left with about 20 Aussie boys for the UK tour that he and his friends would come home with a new passion to help others.
Before they left Australia for Liverpool, the boys learnt about a program run in Ghana by Pro Soccer Global to support young Ghanaian players.
One of the things the players in Ghana need is football shoes.
Bryn and his friends are now part of a network collecting shoes to send to Ghana, inspired by the theme that "one pair of boots can change the life of a person forever".
Bryn and Phoenix, 11, took 54 pairs of donated boots with them on the trip that they scrubbed and cleaned up, so they could be sent to children and young adults in Ghana.
Since coming home, the boys have decided to collect more shoes for a large shipment in November.
Bryn's mum Megan said donations of used shoes that were still in good condition were welcome for the project.
"We will clean them and put in new laces," she said.
"The shoes don't have to be new ... kids grow out of shoes or stop using them and these shoes have a lot of wear that someone else will appreciate."
Ms Richards said anyone with shoes they would like to donate could leave them for the project at Lions FC at Richlands, or they could arrange collection.
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