Mr. Speaker, it started with an e-mail.
The Thornhill Soccer Club has a relationship with the Dagoretti District Primary School in Nairobi, Kenya, one of East Africa's biggest and most impoverished areas.
While on a recent trip to Africa, Thornhill constituent Steve Snowball volunteered as a teacher and soccer coach at Dagoretti primary school. It is a school with 450 children and one soccer ball. Being involved with the Thornhill Soccer Club for years as a player, coach and referee, Steve sent an e-mail request to the Thornhill club for some soccer equipment for the children.
Six weeks later, at the season kickoff last Saturday, boxes of balls, goalie gloves and equipment overflowed the collection boxes. Shipments of the equipment will be shipped out to the Dagoretti primary school and to schools in the surrounding areas, including a girls soccer team in Abuja, Nigeria, thanks to the generous assistance of NGOs like Free the Children.
The message from Thornhill residents and local schools is very clear. Every child should have the right to play.