Take a bow. We are delighted to showcase the Host Your Kit Champions. Our judging panel deemed these the overall winning entries. We are delighted to have helped these teams with a sponsored kit for next season - and we'll be following their progress closely.!
Host Your Kit Third round winners, announced 27 July 2012
Croftfoot United U12s
(from East Renfrewshire)
The judges said: "We were very impressed by the story that Angela the Coftfoot Utd FC fundraising officer told us. She explained that in 2006 15 yr old Robert Fox was asked by some younger children if they could play football with him and his friends. He said no but saw how disappointed they were and decided to learn how to become a coach. He persuaded the local council to upgrade some waste ground so it could be used as football pitches and Croftfoot Utd was born. Robert is still a coach (as well as chairman) and the club has 80 players. This kit will be a reward for the children who are just moving up to play full 11-a-side."
Debdale & Woodlands U15s
(from Gorton in Manchester)
The judges said: "Debdale Under15s are an example of what is possible when you get a group of teenage boys together and show them there is an alternative to loitering around because they don't think there's much to do. These boys have committed to playing despite having to wear bibs because they don't have a proper kit. They've done things like bag shopping in the local supermarket to raise money to help players who can't afford the membership fees. Their coach says the most common question he gets asked is 'Will we have a nice kit?' This season he can say 'Yes, you'll be wearing a fantastic adidas kit.'"
Dereham Wanderers U11s
The judges said: "Dereham Wanderers Under 11s have been together since the age of 8 and have never had the privilege of wearing a new kit. They've always had hand-me-downs. One season ago they were relegated to a lower division but despite their disappointment they worked hard and ended up finishing second in the league. The parent who entered them for Host Your Kit told us that she felt the boys deserved a new kit for all their hard work this season and we thoroughly agree. We hope it gives them extra pride as they step out for the new season in the premier division of the South Norfolk League."
Grange Park Rangers U11s
The judges said: "The Under 11 players at Grange Park Rangers clearly have great team spirit. They also play with respect and goodwill. Their coach told us that some of them have special needs and yet they constantly put others before themselves. One example of their generosity of spirit was that instead of fundraising for themselves, they raised money for a local school for the disabled which needed a minibus to help its pupils get out and about. 'They are a selfless bunch and all they want to do is play football,' says their coach. This new adidas kit will be a lovely reward for their kindness to others and their enthusiasm for the game of football."
Madeley Sports U11s
(from Telford, Shropshire)
The judges said: "Madeley Sports Under 11s submitted the most moving of all the third round entries. Their coach Karl said that he took over two seasons ago after the then coach Wayne collapsed and died while playing for one of the club's older sides. Wayne was a close friend of Karl and his wife asked him to carry on the team in her husband's memory. Karl says he was honoured to do so. A few months after Wayne's death one of the young players also lost his life due to a brain tumour and yet through all this the team have shown incredible strength to carry on. We hope this kit brings the team a reason to smile after the difficult times they've been through."
Oak Juniors U11s
The judges said: "Oaks Junior FC coach Martyn gives up his time to coach this team at the local leisure centre. An army mechanic he's instilled a fantastic passion in this young team. He says his team compete with the right spirit and this year alone they have completed a 100mile run for Cancer Research and the Douglas Macmillan Hospice raising £1620. Martyn has just got married - his now wife also helps coach the team - and we think the award of a new adidas kit for his team would be a great wedding present."
St Peter's Year 7/8
The judges said: "The Year 7 and 8 girls sent us a very funny video explaining how tatty and smelly their existing kit was and it did look pretty dire. Although we debated whether we should give a kit to a school when perhaps the local authority should be doing so, we all agreed that the girls' coach/teacher Miss Dudman made a very strong case. She said research showed that one of the main reasons for low participation in sport by girls is poor or inadequate kit and that a cool new adidas kit would help her promote girls' football to future year groups. We hope it helps her do exactly that.
Here's a link to their video featuring St Peter's sports ambassador Megan Bradley who's already a Chelsea superstar!"
(Click here to view their video)
Sporting FC U14s
(from Central Warwickshire)
The judges said: "Sportng FC told us how their Under 14s were the only side in their club to be relegated last season. The club has 18 teams so we can imagine how hard that must have been for the players to cope with. Most of the other teams at Sporting FC either enjoyed promotion or won cups. Their coach explained that this Under 14 side gained huge respect from the rest of the club for playing every match with pride and smiling despite their setbacks. Just like their coach, we would like to reward them with a new kit to keep them smiling and playing the game with passion and pride."
Salford Victoria U13s
(from Salford, Greater Manchester)
The judges said: "Salford Victoria U13s have just completed their first season. They started with a team of 11 but a series of defeats meant that by Christmas some of the players lost heart and left. By the last game of the season the remaining 7 players had lost every match, yet they gathered all their strength and determination and managed their first win. The players who left never returned their kit and they have a new team now raring to go. We hope this new adidas kit will keep the players together and help them to a fresh start."
Venture Community U14s
(from Wrexham, North Wales)
The judges said: "We were delighted to get a great entry from Wales and the story the coach Darren told us was of a team that thrives despite coming from a deprived part of the country. He devotes his own time for free to run a football team because he believes he can help these players find a more positive future. There are high crime rates in the area and he told us that each week these players put their troubles behind them by playing football. He said their current kit is now too small. We believe this team really deserves a new kit."
Host Your Kit second round winners, announced 8 June 2012
Cali Thistle FC
(from Bishopbriggs, Scotland)
The judges said: "Cali Thistle is clearly a team that has struggled against the odds. The coach has come up against so much red tape yet he's never given up. He's committed to helping children who aren't always welcomed by regular teams to enjoy all the benefits that football can bring in terms of both their health and their emotional well-being. We wish Cali Thistle all the best and hope that wearing a new kit will give the players great pride in their club and their coach in the season to come."
Chadwick End Juniors U 15s
The judges said: "The tale told by Chadwick End Juniors was a familiar one, of the constant struggle to raise funds. However they have never given up. They've staged various fundraising events and even increased subscriptions to keep things going and it's paid off for them with a league shield and runners up spot in their division. Theirs is a terrific story of determination."
Lea Valley U16s
(from Enfield, London)
The judges said: "The boys of Lea Valley Utd come from an area where youth crime is rife and parental support isn't always forthcoming. Yet they are passionate about their football and see it as a way of avoiding taking the wrong road in life. We hope that the award of a new kit will mean that they can walk with their heads held high both on and off the pitch."
Mill Hill FC U12s
The judges said: "Mill Hill have enjoyed a particularly successful season, winning the league, cup and county treble. We feel that a new kit would be a wonderful reward for their commitment and effort not only for this year but for the many years they've stuck together as players and for the coaches who've worked so hard to support them."
(Here's the video of Mill Hill winning the Lancashire Cup final )
New Boulton Athletic FC U12s
The judges said: "We were impressed with the hard work of the volunteers at New Boulton in their efforts to use football to bring a spirit of community to a deprived area of Derby. The fact that the club was hoping to set up a hardship fund to help children from poorer families with their subs made this entry particularly compelling."
Prestwich FC U13s
The judges said: "We loved the poem that was submitted on behalf of Prestwich FC. It summed up the pride and passion that there is in the club and the desire to reward the young players for their commitment."
(Click here to read the poem)
Renton Craigandro U11s
The judges said: "The video submitted by Renton Craigandro was absolutely fantastic and full of humour. The team also told of the difficulty they have had getting kits for all the teams in the club and the strength of support from the huge age range of coaches who help to train the players. Making the video was clearly a lot of fun for the children so we hope the award of a new kit keeps them smiling."
(Click here to view their video)
Stafford Rangers U13s
The judges said: "Stafford Rangers came close to winning in the first round of Host Your Kit so we were delighted that they entered again, giving more detail about their situation. They are clearly a successful team but have now had to resort to wearing bibs because they can't find a new sponsor. We hope that a new kit will bring the players a renewed sense of pride for the coming season. The photo is of a Stafford Rangers player with the old kit the team donated to children South Africa"
Trowell FC U13s
The judges said: "Trowell FC is a club that triumphs in adversity. Despite having to change in the most appalling facilities, the feelings of community and commitment shone out from their entry. We hope that rewarding Trowell with a new team kit will be a small step to the club enjoying a much more positive future."
Whiston FC U12s
The judges said: "The video submitted by Whiston was terrific and told us all about the passion, enthusiasm and support for the players by their coaches and parents. Instead of having to wear hand-me-down kit Whiston Boys will now be able to turn out in style and with pride."
(Click here to view their video)
Here are our first 10 winning teams, announced on Friday 27 April 2012
Ancrum Juniors FC U14s
(from Jedburgh in the Borders)
The judges said: "We have to congratulate Ancrum Junior FC player Ross McKenzie for penning such a humorous and informative entry."
Berner FC U12s
(from Tower Hamlets in London)
The judges said: "Football has been used to inspire these children to get fit and healthy and we believe that a new kit will encourage them to even greater achievements in the future."
Charlestown United U14s
(from St Austell in Cornwall)
The judges said: "We were particularly struck by the fact that they wanted a new kit as a reward for their coach to show how much they respect him and value his hard work - a very positive message to hear from such young players."
Jeanfield Swift Girls FC U11s
(from Perth in Scotland)
The judges said: "We were impressed by the coaches commitment to encouraging girls to play football and the dedication shown by the young players." (see their video entry here).
Lumley Gateway FC U16s
(from County Durham)
The judges said: "It was clear that the young boys and girls get a huge enjoyment from playing football thanks to the dedication and commitment of their coaches."
Mile Oak Wanderers U13s
(from East Sussex)
The Judges said: "The fact that old kits are donated to children in the Gambia shows that the club has a charitable ethos which sets a wonderful example to the young players."
Netherne Falcons FC U13s
(soon to be known as Carshalton FC) from Surrey
The judges said: "This entry emphasised the camaraderie that exists in the team despite the fact that it lost both its name and ground last season."
Port Glasgow Juniors BC U13s girls
The judges said: "Even when they have lost matches the girls have continued to smile and stay positive. They are a credit to the girls game."
Rainham Eagles U13s
The judges said: "Rainham Eagles have everything you want in a young football team - determination, great team spirit and a 'never say die' attitude."
Scotton Scorchers U15s
(from North Yorkshire)
The judges said: "The story of how Scotton Scorchers started out with just a handful of children and has now grown into a club that runs 10 teams was inspiring."