Thai school boost

Blan­tyre Soc­cer Academy do­nates £5000

Hamilton Advertiser - - NEWS -

Celtic-mad chil­dren in Thai­land have scored a cracker once again – thanks to Blan­tyre Soc­cer Academy.

For the foot­ball out­fit has do­nated £5000 to young­sters at the Good Child Foun­da­tion from their an­nual Rea­monn Gorm­ley Memo­rial Soc­cer Fes­ti­val and Sports­man’s Din­ner, held back in May and June.

The Good Child Foun­da­tion is a school for chil­dren with Down’s syn­drome, based in the Chan­thaburi prov­ince of Thai­land. They formed a part­ner­ship with the soc­cer academy fol­low­ing the tragic pass­ing of Blan­tyre teenager Rea­monn in 2011.

Dur­ing a gap year from univer­sity in 2010, Celtic-mad Rea­monn had gone to vol­un­teer with the foun­da­tion – whose pupils now also fol­low Celtic and are af­fec­tion­ately known as the Thai Tims – and won the hearts of ev­ery­one there through his work and ded­i­ca­tion.

Academy chair­man Jimmy Whe­lan is de­lighted to once again be sup­port­ing the foun­da­tion in mem­ory of Rea­monn and said: “The academy have run the Rea­monn Gorm­ley Memo­rial Soc­cer Fes­ti­val ev­ery year since Rea­monn’s death, and in re­cent years also or­gan­ised the an­nual Rea­monn Gorm­ley Memo­rial Sports­man’s Din­ner which raises ad­di­tional monies, al­low­ing us to fund ac­tiv­i­ties for the chil­dren of the Good Child Foun­da­tion and other lo­cal char­i­ties over the course of the year.

“We are de­lighted with the phe­nom­e­nal amount of money raised this year and with the won­der­ful part­ner­ship we have forged with the Good Child Foun­da­tion.

“This is a fan­tas­tic school which was set up by Paul Len­non and his wife Pun, who are based in Chan­thaburi in the prov­ince of Thai­land, and of­fers place­ments for chil­dren with Down’s syn­drome who have pre­vi­ously been ex­cluded from a school en­vi­ron­ment and ed­u­ca­tion; the ben­e­fits are im­mea­sur­able.

“The school sup­ports chil­dren through peer sup­port and so­cial in­clu­sion, elim­i­nat­ing the bar­ri­ers and stigma at­tached to dis­abil­ity.

“A short while af­ter Rea­monn’s death th­ese chil­dren went on a once-in-a-life­time trip came to visit Blan­tyre to pay their re­spects to him and his fam­ily.

“This touched many peo­ple’s hearts in­clud­ing the com­mit­tee of Blan­tyre Soc­cer Academy, and now eight years on we are still fundrais­ing for them.”

Pre­vi­ous years have seen do­na­tions to the foun­da­tion pay for a pur­pose-built Blan­tyre Soc­cer Academy art room in mem­ory of Rea­monn, a spec­ta­tors’ stand that lets the chil­dren watch sports in com­fort, as well as money to send the chil­dren on a three­day trip-of-a-life­time to a theme park in Thai­land, along with help in var­i­ous other ed­u­ca­tional projects.

On the Thai Tims Face­book page they posted re­cently: “We have re­ceived a won­der­ful dona­tion of £5000 from funds raised by the Blan­tyre Soc­cer Academy’s an­nual Rea­monn Gorm­ley foot­ball tour­na­ment.

“Many thanks to ev­ery­one who took part. YNWA (You’ll Never Walk Alone).”

A £4000 dona­tion last year also al­lowed the Thai school to buy new com­put­ers and soft­ware for their IT suite.

A for­mer pupil of John Ogilvie High, Rea­monn Gorm­ley was just 19-year­sold when he was stabbed to death in an at­tempted street rob­bery while walk­ing home from the Parkville Ho­tel, on Fe­bru­ary 1, 2011.

Cheque this Some of the young­sters say a big thank you (and pic­tured with Rea­monn)

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