We at VODEX are delighted to announce that we will be sponsoring two local children’s football teams for the entirety of their coming season!
Bishops Waltham Dynamos Under 8s Lighting and Thunder teams will play in the Mid-Solent Youth League, and we will be providing the funds for all of their kit during the 2021-22 season.
The under-eights teams are just two of many at all age levels at the club, operating from under sevens right up to the adult first team. And we’re especially proud knowing the huge difference the club itself makes to everyone in the local area.
“Full of community spirit”
“Bishop’s Waltham is a lovely little town, full of good community spirit and the Dynamos is right at the centre of it,” says under-eights coach Tom Rappini. “I don’t think anyone in the local area hasn’t got some sort of involvement with it really! It’s a big part of the village.
“Most local companies either sponsor us now or have employees who’ve played for the club at some time,” he continues. Either that or they’ve helped sponsor us in the past.”
“The club loves to return that generosity back to the community, too,” Tom adds. “We’ve held special community events, like bag packing at the local shop, and summer fetes, and open days. So, for everything we get, we try to give back. That’s what the club is all about.”
An avid football fan himself, Tom is clearly proud to be involved with such an organisation at the grassroots of English football.
“Football on a professional level has very much drifted away from the everyday person who enjoys the sport. I used to be able to go to watch Southampton for instance and get player’s signatures without any hassle. Nowadays children can’t even get close to their heroes. So we try and make it as enjoyable at our end so they can aspire to be like their heroes and enjoy their love of the sport.”
“I’m personally really passionate about equality,” he says. “We have a female player in our under-eights team, and in the past, we previously set up the first ever girls team in our community. Seeing the girls enjoying their football and getting the same fulfilment as the boys… knowing they’re talking about football and how it went that day, and knowing that they can have those aspirations to carry on as they get older… that’s what matters.”
“A smile on people’s faces”
Asked to recount how the club approached VODEX to begin with, it turns out to be a case of it’s not what you know, it’s who you know.
“One of our player’s parents is good friends with Paola, the co-founder of VODEX. So we approached her and she very kindly offered to sponsor. Next season we’ll have the VODEX logo prominently on the front of the kids’ shirts, and even on the coach’s kits.
“I have to say though, it’s about more than just helping us afford kit,” insists Tom. “It’s helping us look like a team, feel like a team, and the children will have those special memories of their first-ever kit, making everyone look professional, like the players they see on telly. It just means so much more than the material itself. It’s a massive difference. It just puts a smile on people’s faces.”
Asked if any of the kids have asked yet what VODEX does, Tom laughs. “Not yet – we’ve just ordered the kit so they might when they get it!”
Then he pauses to ponder for a moment, and homes in on the shared values that the Dynamos and VODEX have in common.
“When I grew up in the 90s kids were out a lot more than most kids these days,” he reflects. “However, I think kids talk more these days about healthy lifestyles. They’re more aware of it. So, we get more comments diet-wise, about what they’re eating or drinking. As a coach I try to encourage them to drink more water than anything else, live a healthy lifestyle, and stretch out a lot to keep their bodies healthy.
“And in terms of what VODEX is all about, which is clean air… we’re all about getting these kids out, away from their games consoles to enjoy the fresh air,” says Tom.
“So, we’ll all be very proud to wear the VODEX logo this season, knowing they care about people’s health just as much as we do.”
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