Saturday, October 1

Football boots against the risk of exclusion


  • A coach from Sabadell promotes a campaign to collect footwear sizes 35 to 44 for children who cannot afford them

Kids playing at federated football with sports shoes, or with boots two or three large numbers, or with borrowed boots that another teammate will use after the league game. This happens in the Catalan fields. Is tired of seeing it Aitor Palacios, coach of the Lliçà de Vall and the Catalan territorial team of the Vallès. Tired to the point of rolling up his sleeves to try to solve, at least in part, the problem. “We should do something”.

In that spirit, he has launched a Bell for pick up football boots from sizes 35 to 44. The recipients will be boys who live in vulnerable neighborhoods from Sabadell and Terrassa and that they play in teams from these cities, but Palacios does not rule out sending material to other parts of Catalonia that request it. You have already received a request from Tarragona. “But they will not be distributed foolishly. They will be given to whoever really needs it,” he says.

“Football boots are expensive, they do not go below 60 or 70 euros. With that amount, many families of these disadvantaged neighborhoods they fill the fridge “, reflects Palacios who, due to his work as a coach, has traveled through countless fields of the Vallès. In addition, as a neighbor of the neighborhood of Plain of Can Puiggener, one of the most vulnerable in Sabadell, knows the reality of these families. Families that despite their difficult economic situation make an effort and pay the fees of the clubs in which their children play and the fees of the Catalan Football Federation (altogether, no less than 300 euros per year). And they make the effort because football, like any other sport, is an escape route, a healthy and safe space, a place where merit does not have to do with social class, but with work on the grass.

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And some guys do that job without the proper equipment. “The regulations do not prevent them from playing with footwear other than football boots. They can play, although they often slip,” explains Palacios, adding that the worst of the situation is “the shame” they feel when they have to jump onto the field. with a different footwear. Despite everything, he says, “they come to train and play the same because they want to improve.”

In the few days of the campaign – it started on December 23 – there have already been many people – individuals and clubs – who have contacted Palacios to offer their two cents. How to do it? You can send or leave the material at the headquarters of the Aristoi Academy, located in the Can Puiggener municipal field in Sabadell, at number 1 Puig de la Creu street. The Aristoi is one of the clubs where many of the children play. – they will soon have boots of their own. Another option is to contact Palacios via Twitter, who offers to collect the material.

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In these first days, and based on the response, there is already a forecast of being able to collect 200 pairs of boots from sizes 39 to 44. Palacios warns that the most serious problem and where there is most need is in the smallest sizes, of 35 to 39.

What if solidarity is such that there are plenty of boots? Well, the idea is to send them to Senegal. That they are also needed there.

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