The Bunyan Sports Centre in Bedford recently hosted a five a side football tournament for “The Central Federation Traditional Shotokan Karate" in aid of the Street Children of Lira, Uganda. The charity’s full name Is “One Step at a Time” founded by Mrs Sandra Murphy. The task of how to help the children of Uganda and Lira in particular was so daunting Sandra didn’t know where to start. How can you help orphans, a displaced community ravaged by war, neglect and starvation? That was how she came up with the charity’s name she now directs.
It was a target of Sensei Kidby’s to achieve sufficient money by organising the tournament to buy a motorbike to help in the charity’s work. Too often we can donate to a charity without actually seeing what your hard earned money has done. With this more specific fund raising, gratifying results are transparent.
The purpose of a motor bike is not only to assist with mundane everyday transport needs but it also serves a much better need too. Some children living on the streets have been separated from their parents by the effects of war. Some of them may have parents living in displacement camps and some of them are orphans but may have relatives alive in villages far away. An all-terrain motor bike is a fast, easy and economical method of getting about following up on leads which may reunite a street child with a loved one. It can also help transport youths in the care of the charity to work placements where they are on apprentice schemes to enable them to obtain work and become self sufficient.
The total raised on the day was £1102 which was more than sufficient money for the motorbike with enough left over for a push bike too which will help with the most local of journeys around Lira.
One of the reasons of charity fund raising, apart from helping a very worthwhile cause, is to teach karate students that the true meaning of martial arts is not what it does for your body that is important. Karate is more about what it does for your head and your heart that truly matters and what better way than to help those less fortunate than ourselves.
With regard to the football itself we can report the standard was very high indeed. Scouts were out from the premiership clubs and those selected will be hearing in due course. The winners after a tight match of the ladies and boys tournament was Kempston Angels with Ampthill Maniacs coming runners up. The runners up of the men's tournament was Kempston beating Wolverton by one-nil but as Sensei said on the day - the true winners on this occasion have to be the street children of Lira.
Good quality 5 X 7 photographs of the event are available at £2 each generously being donated to the charity by Steve Kavanagh of Kempston club. These need to be ordered and pre-paid via your sensei, preview pictures can be viewed at www.englishbayphotography.co.uk/portfolio39581.html (password is: CFTSCharity - it is case sensitive!) by 24/09/08.
Many thanks must go to all who supported the event in whatever capacity they participated. The day really will make such a difference to many lives.