Every time youngsters playing for Morley Rangers Football Club in Plymouth kick a ball, it will be thanks to a sponsorship deal with South Devon Rural Housing Association (SDR).
The housing association, which specialises in providing affordable homes for people in a wide range of age-groups and some with disabilities, wants to support a club helping to promote fitness and sporting values among the young.
The relationship with the club came about through SDR Housing Manager Robert Carnon, who is a coach at the club and has a grandson playing in the Under 13s.
Morley Rangers FC was established in 1989 with teams from Under 5s to Adult. The club now includes four girls’ teams and is in the process of starting a women’s team.
The Under 13s are a male team made up of boys from the Plymouth area who now play in Division 2 of the Devon & Junior League (Hermes), after being promoted last season from Division 3.
Through Robert Carnon, SDR’s management heard that the junior team was desperately in need of new balls for training and for match days.
The £170 sponsorship deal means the team has been able to buy 14 Mitre practice balls and 2 match balls.
Robert Carnon said: “It’s so important for kids’ fitness and general wellbeing for them to get plenty of fresh air and exercise. What better way than playing a game that does all that and teaches them life lessons and sportsmanship at the same time?
“Morley Rangers is a wonderful club, making a difference to the lives of youngsters and adults alike. It’s a privilege for me to be one of their coaches and of course to see my grandson Boden enjoying his football as a wing back”.
The club’s Secretary, Pete Frankland, said: “We are currently an FA Charter Standard Award Club. This is a best practice guide that sets standards of coaching, administration and child protection for all clubs outside the Football League and Premier League. As a benchmark for quality, it aims to improve the playing experience for all.
“We set great store by fair play and sportsmanship and we’ve won a number of awards. We encourage all at MRFC to take victory modestly and defeat graciously. That’s why we’re so delighted to receive support in the form of SDR’s ball sponsorship deal”.
Christine Candlish, SDR’s Chief Executive, said: When Robert came to us with the suggestion of ball sponsorship, we jumped at the chance. We are all about providing homes and building management services for a wide variety of people in different age groups and with diverse needs – and making a difference to their lives.
“It’s great to be able to make a contribution to a club that’s making a difference to the lives of young people, both boys and girls, as well as older players and, now, people with disabilities. This sponsorship deal is a really good fit for us and I’m delighted to support it”.
Our photos, taken at Morley Rangers’ Plymstock School training ground, show a group of players with the 16 balls bought with SDR’s sponsorship and four of the Under 13 players, each holding a match ball.
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