Midnight league football brings joy to world's poorest kids
A Scots charity worker bringing medical aid to Haiti, one of the poorest countries in the world, introduced local kids to the joys of midnight league football, as played in his local Coalfields REgeneration Trust sponsored league
[UKPRwire, Wed Jun 10 2009] Midnight league football took on a whole new dimension when Scots charity worker Aaron Dowds introduced it to some of the poorest kids in the world during a trip to the Carribean Island of Haiti.
The Scots version of midnight leagues are played late in the evenings at weekends to keep youngsters off the streets and out of mischief.
In Haiti there was so much enthusiasm that a midnight league tournament started at 7.0am and ran all day in soaring temperatures.
And in a bizarre local touch the linesmen waved palm branches instead of flags.
Aaron 32 a pharmacist of 5 Grange Park Dunfermline was in Haiti, one of the 10 poorest countries in the world, with a team of medical volunteers and helped vaccinate 700 local children.
On his day off he decided to arrange a football tournament and based it on the Coalfields Regeneration Trust sponsored Midnight Leagues he runs with the Scottish FA and Fife Council at Synergie Youth Club in Dunfermline.
Aaron said: “Going to Haiti was easily the best and toughest experience in my whole life and a trip that will profoundly effect me for the rest of my days.
“The football tournament was one of the highlights and something I will never forget.”
Over 250 youngsters aged 11 to 16 turned up for the 7.0am start, and played all day under the blazing hot sun and on rocky parched pitches in a part of the world where there is no rain for 8 months of the year.
Aaron added: “The linesmen used palm branches as flags which was hugely amusing to watch.
“The semis and the final all went to a penalty shoot out and about 200 cheering fans crowded round the goal mouths for the penalties which was an electric atmosphere.”
Andy Gould, the Scottish FA’s head of regional development had given Aaron three sports bags full of strips and bibs and Coalfields Regeneration Trust t-shirts to give to the local youngsters.
Aaron added: “I can’t thank the Scottish FA enough for helping putting smiles on a lot of faces.
“Football truly unites all cultures and races and brings great joy and escape some of the poorest kids on the earth.”
Coalfields Regeneration Trustee Nicky Wilson said: “We are very proud to have people like Aaron help make the Trust’s Scottish Midnight Leagues a success, especially after all he has done in Haiti.”
Note to Editors:
The Scottish FA’s Midnightleague programme is run across Scotland in partnership with Bank of Scotland, The Coalfields Regeneration Trust, the Scottish Government’s CashBack for Communities Scheme, local authorities and police forces.
Investment from The Coalfields Regeneration Trust creates opportunities for young people in current and former mining communities to participate in small-sided games during Friday and Saturday evenings