Advent has helped a group of Ugandan schoolchildren visiting the country for a major tag rugby festival put their best foot forward.
Team Kampala are taking part in the Jaguar Land Rover International Tag Rugby Youth Festival, organised by the Engage! programme – an educational rugby initiative that uses the core values of the game to help develop healthy, well-rounded, confident young people.
But the schoolchildren, who are aged between 13 and 15, arrived in the city without any sports-shoes to wear during practice sessions and the culminating tag rugby 7s tournament taking place at the Ricoh Arena this week.
Advent Communications, which is based at Electric Wharf, Coventry, has stepped in to donate 10 pairs of new trainers and presented them to the delighted team during a Civic Reception held at St Mary’s Guild Hall, in the city centre.
Team Kampala coach Stella Kyalikunda, who plays for the Ugandan rugby team, said the schoolchildren were really excited and grateful to receive the new shoes.
“The children don’t have any sports shoes at home so usually play without any when taking part in rugby games in Kampala,” she said.
“They couldn’t believe it when they received the new trainers and are really excited to test them out during the practice sessions.
“It is such a great opportunity for them to be able to come to Coventry to play rugby and to make new friends. A lot of the children have never been abroad before so it is a completely new experience for them.
“They have loved taking part in all of the activities so far including watching the Wasps vs Samoa game at the Ricoh Arena at the weekend. They also can’t wait to take part in the tournament.”
The Jaguar Land Rover International Tag Rugby Youth Festival is bringing teams from Paris, New York, Brazil, Kampala and Coventry together to take part in an action-packed programme of events to celebrate the Rugby World Cup 2015.
Lee Corden, senior manager at Advent Communications, said: “It was great to meet all the children from Team Kampala and they seem to be having the time of their lives here in Coventry. They are an absolutely brilliant group.
“Sport is a great way of bringing children from all types of background together and the Engage! project is the perfect example of how that can happen.
“We heard about their lack of footwear so were only too happy to step in and help out. It’s
a great reminder of some of the things we all take for granted. We hope they enjoy the rest of their stay in the city and wish them well in their tournament.”
Picture caption: Lee Corden and Sophie Marsden (Advent Communications) with (from left to right) Emmanuel, Yasin and Hellen from Team Kampala