Boots for Africa commemorated Ben Shaw by handing over soccer boots to children at Mamelodi Extension 5 o 9 July 2020 and also at Clapham High School in Pretoria.
Ben Shaw was a 15-year-old boy who was injured when a 98kg bench press weight fell on his neck at the Pine Rivers PCYC, north of Brisbane, on September 26, 2017. He was found by staff about 20 minutes later and rushed to hospital but died on 1 October 2017. He played rugby league for a club in Australia and his dream was to come to South Africa and coach as well as donate boots to children.
The foundation of Boots for Africa was established in 2008 by Sheffield FC and it started being active with the 2010 world Cup. Boots for Africa collect boots from all around the world and imports them to Africa for unprivileged children.
On 9 July 2020, it would have been Ben Shaw’s 18th birthday. Dalya Shaw, Ben Shaw’s mother worked with Boots for Africa and collected 450 pairs of Boots from Australia and the foundation was able to give 40 kids due to COVID-19 regulations. Ms Shaw was also not able to travel to South Africa due to the COVID-19 lockdown.
Gavin Hendry said he trusts this will encourage corporates to get involved too so that they can reach more children. To encourage corporates the Foundation is in the process of registering as a Public Benefit Organisation so that donations can be tax-deductible.
Famous soccer players such as Khabo Zitha, Teboho Mokoena, Rhoda Mulaudzi and Thulasizwe Mbuyane are working with the Foundation in helping children reach their potentials.
“Our kids have so much talent, we need to make sure they have every opportunity to reach their potential. I urge all the children out there to train hard, study hard, respect your elders and coaches so that you can one day represent our beautiful country,” Mr Hendry said.
Mr Thulasizwe Mbuyane said a lot of youngsters cheered for him during his time on the playground, “now it’s my turn to cheer for them by making sure they kick-start their careers with the support from Boots for Africa”.
Khabo Zitha said he was a top striker for Banyanabanyana and the support she got was immense. “I am a legend now and what better way to give back than to shape the future of our sports? We need more girls to be stars and women’s football need this kind of support.”