ONE determined ‘soccer’ player has reached his goal of helping Zambian children through Woking High School.
During John Hogan’s recent visit to the UK, in which he was taking part in an Adidas international training programme at Chelsea Football Club, he met Woking High teacher Mike Scott.
Mr Scott, who was involved in one of John’s sessions, spoke of his school’s work with Zambia and explained how students were keen to donate clothing to the country’s most needy on a trip next year. The school’s challenge struck a chord with John, who subsequently took their mission Stateside.
John explained: “It all began when Mr Scott told me about the Baobab College in Zambia, and the things that Woking High School students did to help those children.
“Then I thought of my soccer club at home, how we were changing kit, and saw the shirts might make a big difference for those kids.
“When I got back home, I organised the ‘One World, One Sport, One Jersey Drive’.”
Spurred on by family and friends, and of course Mr Scott and the rest of Woking High School, John’s collection soon gathered serious pace.
“I started by talking with individual coaches and parents, and was even able to set up collection baskets at one of our soccer tournaments,” John said.
“Before I knew it, I had more than 750 jerseys and lots of laundry to do. The whole family pitched in with the sorting, washing, and folding.
“It was a lot of work, but it felt great to be doing something that could help bring a smile to someone’s face.”
John’s delivery arrived in England at the end of October.
Following their highly successful visit to Zambia in July 2012, Woking High have decided to embark on another life-changing trip to Africa next summer.
A total of 18 Year 11 students and three staff members will be working with the Tag Rugby Trust, a charity that aims to introduce and develop tag rugby to children in developing countries.
As well as organising and delivering rugby sessions to the local schools and orphanages, students will be helping to support the schools by renovating their classrooms and providing resources.
But their trip would not have been a possibility were it not for the sheer determination and fundraising graft of the students.
Mr Scott explained: “Students have been busy raising funds over the last year and have been involved in a number of activities including bag-packing in Waitrose, shaking buckets on match-days at Twickenham, and cake sales.”