Football academy boosted by funding donation from Breakaway East

Breakaway East members present a £1,000 cheque to Message On The Ball. Picture: Mick Howes

Breakaway East members present a £1,000 cheque to Message On The Ball. Picture: Mick Howes - Credit: Archant

A Lowestoft-based sports ministry project has been given a financial boost – thanks to an independent networking group.

Message On The Ball launch the Re-Boot initiative. Picture: Victor Ling

Message On The Ball launch the Re-Boot initiative. Picture: Victor Ling - Credit: Archant

Last year a football academy was launched allowing young people to improve their skills and also learn about the Christian faith in Lowestoft.

The youth football academy – Message On The Ball (MOTB) – was launched by the team at London Road Baptist Church, and was the idea of head coach Ashley Langner and youth minister, the Rev Emily Twigg.

Last week the academy received a boost from Breakaway East – an independent business breakfast networking group, which consists of a group of well-known local organisations – as MOTB was chosen as the group's charity for the year. The academy received a £1,000 cheque at a networking breakfast attended by more than 80 businesses at the Hotel Victoria.

MOTB works with secondary school youngsters in Lowestoft and runs an academy every week to develop the football skills and tactics of players of all abilities through drills and matches, while also sharing the Christian faith through the context of sport.

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And as the academy continues to grow, as of next Thursday, November 23 it will run at the East Point Academy all-weather pitch every Thursday from 7.30pm to 8.30pm, and is open to boys and girls in school years seven to 13 of any ability.

Breakaway East's chairman Nadine Jasinski said: 'As a group we are keen to support charities that members are involved in and it was great that we could support MOTB. Raising money for charity is one of Breakaway East's main objectives as the group is a not-for-profit association and I'm pleased that the breakfast has created so much exposure for the charity.'

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At the business meeting last week, Rev Emily Twigg, MOTB's manager and Ash Langner, MOTB's head coach delivered a presentation about the academy, the incredible journey it has been on and how the £1,000 donation would be used.

Rev Twigg and Mr Langner also shared details about a new initiative they are setting up named 'Re-boot', which involves collecting second hand sports shoes and gifting them to those in our community who cannot afford them.

About Re-boot

Rev Twigg said: 'We have identified that there are young people and adults in our local community who cannot access sport due to not be able to afford sports trainers. Many people have several pairs of sports shoes, or throw pairs away them simply because they no longer fit.

'Re-boot will take sports trainers people no longer need, and give them to those in who are require them. Whilst there are organisations which take sports kit, footwear and equipment to African countries, there is also a need for these items within Lowestoft and the rest of the UK.

'Re-boot seeks to see every person having the footwear they need so that they can access sport safely, something many take for granted.'

Mr Langner said: 'Over the next few months we are hoping to install 'Re-boot' bins in several shops and sports centres around the local area for people to donate their sports shoes, and get a website up and running where people can apply for a pair of shoes.'

For more information, or if you have sports shoes you would like to donate, email or call 07572 133 206.

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