Amicus the Union

Amicus the Union

March 02, 2007 10:38 ET

Students and trade union to talk 'Footballs' to MPs

LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM--(CCNMatthews - March 2, 2007) - Football students from South Nottingham College will be taking the Amicus Balls to Poverty campaign to London on Monday 5th March. They will be meeting with Minister of State (sport), Department for Culture, Media and Sport, Richard Caborn MP and Secretary of State, Department for International Development, Hilary Benn MP. The students will also be visiting the Millwall Football Club 'Kickz, goals thru football' social inclusion project in Sydenham, South East London, where they will be giving a short coaching session for local children.

Amicus, the UK's largest private sector trade union, are sponsoring the students on a trip to South Africa in April where they will be running football coaching sessions and donating 7,000 footballs to children in some of the poorest townships in Johannesburg and Cape Town. The project is part of Amicus' campaign to expose young people in the UK to the activities of trade unions and deliver positive help to developmental projects in South Africa.

The Amicus Balls to Poverty project is the brainchild of South Nottingham College Director of Football, Joe Sargison, who first coached in Johannesburg three years ago.

Speaking about the project Joe said: "It has been amazing to see the change in the students from Nottingham College as a result of participating in the Balls to Poverty project. Seven students from previous tours have continued their studies at the college and a handful have gone on to higher education at universities across the UK. 2 years ago I only took 50 footballs to Cape Town and with the support of our partners and contacts across South African football we are now looking at distributing 35,000 balls over the next 3 years in preparation for the World Cup in 2010."

Derek Simpson, General Secretary of Amicus, said: "Amicus is proud of its' association with Balls to Poverty. Our union sponsored Balls to Poverty last year and has seen what positive experiences and opportunities the project provided to young people in the UK and in South Africa.

"Amicus believes that change starts ant grass roots and that powerful things can be achieved by engaging with people through their universal experiences, be that through football, through politics or peoples experiences at work."

Notes to editors

1.A DVD of last year's trip is available by emailing: . Media are also invited to follow the students' progress as they fundraise and prepare for their trip. It can also be viewed from the Amicus website:

2.South Nottingham College's Football Performance Programme (FPP) has been established for five years now and offers students the chance to continue with their full-time education as well as receiving up to ten hours a week professional football coaching and playing competitive games in local and British College leagues. The College side have been training twice a week with Nottingham Forest U18s at the NFFC Academy and have had three recent notable graduates of the Programme - Nottingham Forest star Wes Morgan, Notts County's Jake Sheridan and Southend United's Simon Francis.

3.Amicus is the UK's largest private sector union but also represents members in the public and not for profit sectors. Amicus has 1.2 million members across more than 20 industry sectors and professional groupings, from pharmacists to clergy and from energy sector workers to banking and insurance.

4.The students distributed 50 footballs in 2005 and 3,000 in 2006.

5.The students have been fundraising to raise money to buy the footballs in a Buy a Ball campaign. Money has also been raised from staff and members of Amicus.

Contact Information

  • Amicus Press Office
    Martin Scanlon
    07764 655751
    South Nottingham College
    Chris Stephenson
    Marketing & Communications Manager
    0115 914 6339
    Joe Sargison
    South Nottingham College
    Director of Football
    07791 788463