Chelsea FC Foundation joins school’s charity trip to Africa

Matt Mooney from Chelsea with some of the children taking part in the Hearts and Smiles Foundation Program. SUS-160725-135050001
Matt Mooney from Chelsea with some of the children taking part in the Hearts and Smiles Foundation Program. SUS-160725-135050001

The Chelsea Football Club Foundation joined students and staff from Buckswood School on their annual charity trip to Swaziland.

Buckswood School has been visiting the Kingdom of Swaziland for the past 12 years, and as part of the charity trip have put on a football tournament to support the police force in their efforts to integrate better with local communities in a project called Hearts and Smiles.

This year, the Buckswood football program stepped up a gear by flying over Matthew Mooney, from Chelsea FC Foundation.

Buckswood School’s association with Chelsea FC Foundation has seen the club run the Junior Football Academy in the school, which has just completed its inaugural year – 30 players strong. The association also sees the club delivering football healthy lifestyle initiatives in the Hastings local area; as well as this year, taking the Foundation over to Swaziland to run the Hearts and Smiles programme.

“I thought it would be an excellent opportunity for the children of Swaziland to benefit from the same level of coaching that my pupils gain,” Buckswood headmaster Mr Sutton said. “Well if Beckham can visit the Kingdom of Swaziland, so can Chelsea.”

David Beckham had visited Swaziland earlier this year with Unicef as part of his own 7 Foundation to raise awareness of AIDS in the country. The school wrote to Beckham care of UNICEF ahead of the trip to tell him about the 12 years of charity work they have been doing in Swaziland and received a letter congratulating the school and students. The letter said: “It was wonderful to learn about Buckswood’s long-standing project in Swaziland. It is always brilliant for us to hear how willing young people are to help others who have so little. Your students sounds like fine advocates for children’s rights around the world.”

While on the trip, Matt Mooney from Chelsea ran an intensive week long training camp for children from four local schools: Assembly of God, Nazareen Primary School, Global Primary School and Good Shepherd Primary School, culminating in a tournament at the Siteki community football ground.

The winners received lots of Chelsea souvenirs and the Buckswood group had taken lots of football kits and boots to hand out to all the football enthusiasts.

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