Apart from Coethica and the numerous good cause hats I wear when I can on my travels, my favourite project I’m involved with advising is Kick 4 Change. I stumbled across Jamie Tosh & Simon Brown’s venture last year and immediately offered to help. Their innovative model combining sport, social enterprise and retail instantly caught my attention, and I thought it was about time to bring the dynamic duo behind K4C to you.
I’m a big fan and know you’ll appreciate their hard work, their approach and the potential, especially in 2010 the year of the World Cup in South Africa for this very worthy initiative. Here’s their responses to a few quick questions I posed to provide you with an overview and ways that you too can also play your part in helping Jamie & Simon achieve their goals (couldn’t help the pun).
What problem is Kick 4 Change trying to solve?
We have three main areas that we are supporting.
1. Increased sports provision and funding in the UK.
2. Introducing enterprise into schools
3. Poverty and HIV prevention in developing countries
How is your model going to solve this problem?
1. We are looking to support the delivery of sports provision within schools and sports clubs across the UK. Sport is increasingly being recognised as a vehicle for tackling child obesity, social inclusion and anti social behaviour. We have created our own sports brand (4sport) that is affordable and accessible to all, irrespective of race, demographic or indeed ability. We support the provision of sport by re-investing all our profits back into schools, clubs and community initiatives. In effect, our football boots can be used as a sustainable revenue stream for organisations that use sport to engage with children.
2. Our products also lend themselves to be used as a vehicle for introducing an enterprise culture into the national curriculum. We have created a concept called ‘Business in a Box’ that allows children to gain hands on business skills, whilst making a profit for themselves at the same time.
3. The final problem we are addressing is HIV prevention in developing countries. We have partnered with four charities in Africa who all use sport as a building block of social change. Each uses our boots to engage with children and educate them in issues such as AIDS awareness, HIV prevention and basic life skills such as self esteem and respect for others.
What is your biggest obstacle to success?
The biggest obstacle is accessing the necessary funding in time, enabling us to bring all plans to fruition.
What help you do need?
We believe many of our initiatives lend themselves to CSR involvement. We can offer opportunities for colleague engagement and volunteering within schools and charities, both in the UK and abroad. Funding, resources and contacts would all be useful!
Who is on your ‘would like to meet’ wish list for K4C?
We’d love to meet decision makers within appropriate corporate organisations who may be interested in speaking to us about our plans, and how they could potentially get involved.
What has been the highlight of your journey so far?
The undoubted highlight was out trip to South Africa and Lesotho in August 2009. We used the trip to forge key charity partnerships and also donate 350 pairs of our new boots to them. Playing with the children and seeing the way sport gives them a release from their everyday struggles was a real joy, and a very humbling experience.
How are you going to use the platform that this summer’s World Cup in South Africa will provide?
We are using the World Cup as a backdrop for a global legacy campaign we have recently launched. Based on the venue of the World Cup final, we have mocked up a virtual stadium and are selling virtual seats within it. Every seat purchased represents a brand new pair of boots that we’ll send over to our charity partners. If we fill the stadium, we’ll be sending over 94,700 pairs of new boots to underprivileged children. The campaign allows schools to use our free materials to introduce pupils to the concept of global citizenship, whilst fundraising in a fun, topical and educational way. The campaign also allows for businesses to get involved from a CSR level, with a number of creative sponsorships and headline opportunities that will lead to exciting PR opportunities.
The campaign is called PledgeMySeat and further details can be viewed at www.pledgemyseat.org
So there you have it. A great project, great people and great potential. I’m almost getting the football bug again thanks to these guys.
Please be generous with any contacts, suggestions for raising their profile you may have by leaving a comment, or spread the word via the bookmarking buttons below.
KICK 4 CHANGE UPDATE:
Great article published today (3rd March 2010) on Justmeans.com by Amelia Timbers – Kick 4 Change Scores for Sports CSR