Wilfried Zaha has donated £10,000 to Sunday League football club Lambeth Allstars – based near his hometown club of Crystal Palace.
The donation – which has come from Carling’s Made Local Fund – has been used to buy new kit and equipment in Allstars’ new club colour of purple.
The first, reserve and women’s teams will all receive a new home and away kit, plus match day tracksuits, training clothing and other coaching equipment that will allow the club to continue positively affecting the local community.
Lambeth Allstars are a community football club who have helped positively change the lives of many of their players from areas of South London.
Originally founded in 1982, the club was recently taken over by Omari Hibbert (pictured with Zaha), who made the decision to change the club’s identity in an effort to inspire local footballers from different backgrounds to come together.
This brought a sense of unity and togetherness to a sometimes-divided community by focusing on what happens on the pitch, with some members of the squad developing their game so much that they have gone on to play for professional clubs in the Championship.
Speaking about why he chose to support Lambeth Allstars, Zaha said, “The club has given so many people from the South London community a reason to come together and improve themselves both on and off the pitch.
“The club has become integral to the community. I heard about Omari’s work and have followed the progress he’s been making. Hearing some of the stories of the people he’s helped is inspiring and it’s great to be able to help them take the next step on their journey.”
The Crystal Palace winger also spoke about his pride in supporting a football club close to home: “Playing my football in South London has helped me become the man I am today. I’m around my friends and family and that’s important to me. I’d like to thank Carling for giving me the opportunity to support a project that means a lot to me”.
Hibbert, who is now the operations manager at the club, used football to positively change his own life, gaining his coaching badges and passing his knowledge to the community in the form of his ‘Get Technical’ coaching sessions he runs separately to his work with the Allstars.
He said,:“To have such a local hero like Zaha support us shows that we’re being recognised for the work we’re doing. We want to inspire the community to think differently about football and give the players something to work towards each week, and we’re constantly adding new people to our group in an effort to help them.
“It’s great that Carling are supporting local communities and the funding will go a long way to helping future players who join the club for years to come”.
Carling’s partnership with Zaha comes as part of Made Local, a campaign about championing and supporting people who are making a positive impact in their local communities.
Helen Wallace, senior brand manager at Carling, said: “Lambeth Allstars is a perfect Made Local story and Carling is proud to be able to make a difference. We want to continue supporting people and groups who are making a difference in their community with the Made Local Fund, and the work Omari is doing is clearly having a really positive impact already so we’re delighted to help him and the team take the next step.”
As part of the Made Local campaign, Carling has committed to a multi-million-pound investment over the next three years into its Made Local Fund – a community bursary fund designed to celebrate a generation’s ambition to make things happen in their own backyard, funding local projects that bring people together over shared passions and create opportunities that wouldn’t otherwise exist.
To discover more about Carling’s Made Local Fund and to see how you can support local projects in your hometown, visit http://carling.com/apply-for-fund.
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