Football teams at all 54 Harris Academies have been given brand new kits by the online retailer MandM. In total, 6,300 sets of kit have been donated.
The kits, worth £250,000, have been personalised for each Harris Academy with their badge and school colours. They are made up of match shirts for outfield players and goalkeepers, shorts and socks as well as a team kit bag for each academy.
With the academies predominantly in economically disadvantaged areas of London and Essex, the new kits have been welcomed by students and parents.
Harmony, from a Harris Academy Peckham football team said:
“I feel so happy wearing this new kit; it’s really comfortable.
“We used to wear our PE kits before, a polo t-shirt with leggings or shorts, and this kit now makes me feel like I’m part of a team. It makes me feel proud!”
Mike Tomkins, Chairman of MandM, said:
“As a business, MandM is aligned with the Harris Federation’s values in social mobility and equality so we are delighted to be helping make a difference for their students and doing what we can to encourage participation in sport.
“I believe that active sports participation in school is the foundation for a healthy life. I have been incredibly impressed to see what the Harris Federation has achieved and, more importantly, where it is going. MandM are committed to continue our support towards its future success.”
Sir Dan Moynihan, CEO of the Harris Federation, said:
“Our 54 primary and secondary academies are setting new standards of educational achievement in some of the most challenging and disadvantaged areas of London. Sport is a really important part of our success so we, and the many young footballers at our academies now playing in new kits as a result of MandM’s generosity, are hugely grateful for this collaboration.”