Tottenham Hotspur are once more leading the way amongst Premier League football who are helping the underprivileged. Two exciting new initiatives link the club with homeless people and with sport for people with a disability.
Today Spurs announced that they have become a Global Team Football Ambassador for the Special Olympics. It’s a bit of mouthful that smacks of being put together over 18 months by 7 committees and three PR firms. Forget the title – there’s an uplifting message there if you stop and take a look. The club will support the creation and development of 10 new teams, but at least as important is the underlying message of the enduring power of football to promote respect and inclusion for people with learning disabilities.
Great quote from Ossie, ok, he probably didn’t come up with it himself but it’s still worth repeating in full:
“For me it is a very special occasion. Tottenham Hotspur and Special Olympics are both very close to my heart and so to see Spurs take on a bigger role globally with Special Olympics is fantastic.
“There are millions of people with learning disabilities and they are often a forgotten group. The partnership will help create opportunities for Special Olympics athletes and transform the way communities and groups think and act in regard to disability.”
This follows on the heels of the news that Spurs will sponsor the Indian team at the Homeless World Cup in Milan after donating $100k to the Sport for The Homeless Slum Soccer programme.
It’s easy to be cynical about things like these and the founding involvement in the 10:10 environment emissions initiative that I blogged about last week. So I will. The Indian hook-up will generate publicity and flog a few replica shirts.
But even a curmudgeonly sceptic such as myself can see these are good things. The homeless and the support for people with learning difficulties, both causes close to my heart, will do a hell of a lot of good, and full credit to the club’s board for taking the lead.
So let’s go one step further. Next season, Mr Levy, ditch the Mansion logo and emblazon the name of a charity on the front of our shirts. Take that message around the world, that’s how I want the world to see my club. Anyone as long as the logo’s not red. Something to look forward to.
Tottenham Hotspur have signed up to the 10:10 environmental campaign to reduce carbon emissions.
This new campaign, launched on Monday, has a simple aim: we all reduce our carbon emissions by 10% in 2010. Spurs are founding participants, currently the only major club to back the scheme so publicly.
Full details of the campaign can be found here: http://www.1010uk.org. It’s a sound idea. Instead of fretting every time we see a David Attenborough documentary about polar bears falling into the ocean because the Arctic icecap is melting faster than a Mivvi in a three year old’s hand, we can all do something practical about it. Households, companies and football clubs unite. World leaders may be making earnest but totally unrealistic promises at various summits (it’s OK, behind their backs they had crossed their fingers. Feynights!!) but We the People can start right here right now.
This could mean changes at the Lane. No doubt Peter ‘Crusty’ Crouch will be off to join the peace camp on Blackheath, whilst David Bentley will trade in his Porsche for a Prius. Oh no, hang on, make that the number 57 bus, at least for another year. Harry is committed to turning off the heating in his manager’s seat on the bench, and training will be suspended as the boys gambol through green meadows, lace daisies in their hair and call each other sister. Wilson has undertaken to run only 37 miles every match. If only Keano could be re-classified as the N17 windfarm project and harnessed to the National Grid, then his arm-waving might actually achieve something.
The 10:10 campaign is an entirely laudable and worthwhile project and all credit to Tottenham for being in the vanguard. Football clubs are rightly castigated for their lack of involvement in the wider community but this is just one example of several over the past few years where Spurs have demonstrated a sense of their wider responsibilities. They were among the top givers to charity amongst clubs in figures released last year (far above the Arse), they are actively involved in local projects for children and young people with a disability and their education project greatly assists local children.