Fenland village footballer to help revamp African school in Bobby Moore Fund project

A FENLAND village footballer is gearing up to travel out to Africa to help revamp a remote village school whilst also raising money for cancer research.

David Blackmore, who plays for Kershaw Senior B side Outwell Swifts, is travelling to Namibia in June as part of an international project run by the Bobby Moore Fund.

The project will see the 24-year-old join a group of volunteers who are flying out to the Tubusis settlement in the Damaraland region of Namibia to spend 10 days giving Tubusis Primary School a much-needed facelift.

The Upwell resident said: “The school consists of eight classrooms plus a library and although the school buildings are in reasonably good shape structurally, they are in need of general repairs to walls, paint work, doors, ceilings and windows.

“The building that houses the library, however, is in a really bad condition and requires a major revamp including the installation of new floors and proper furniture, the conversion of part of the library into a computer room and the provision of books to stock the library.

“As well as completing all of this work, there is also scope for the project team to create a football pitch on the school grounds - something we are take for granted here.

“I am really looking forward to travelling out to Namibia and hopefully we will make a huge difference to the lives of all the pupils at Tubusis Primary School as well as the surrounding area.”

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It will be the second international project Mr Blackmore has been on having flown out to South Africa last March with 40 volunteers, which included former professional footballers Luther Blissett and George Parris, to revamp Sandberg Primary School.

He said: “During our time in the remote village of Sandberg, which is around a three hour drive from Cape Town, we constructed a new building, laid a football and rugby pitch and carried out massive improvements at the school.

“Despite the transformation of the school, the biggest thing that really hit home for me was seeing that the schoolchildren had nothing to do during their lunch breaks except seek shelter from the sun - a stark contrast to schoolchildren in England who enjoy playing football or climbing on a jungle gym during their breaks.

“It was great to spend time getting to know the schoolchildren because these projects, for me, are not just about revamping the schools but having a positive impact on the children and hopefully inspiring them to be whatever they want to be.”

Mr Blackmore said he needs to raise �4,000 to take part in the trip with half the money going towards bowel cancer research and the rest going to the project costs.

He said: “I really feel like these projects are great because you are raising money for two causes. The Bobby Moore Fund does fantastic work in raising money for bowel cancer research so it is great to be able to help them.

“At the same time it is also fantastic to be able to transform a school and give these children the best possible chance of aspiring to be whatever they want to be and hopefully a better future.”

He added: “I am, however, hoping to raise more than the �4,000 needed because both causes mean so much to me. I am currently in talks with a few businesses to try and get some corporate sponsorship and I am hope these will be successful.”

The Bobby Moore Fund was established by Stephanie Moore MBE in partnership with Cancer Research UK in 1993 and was set up in memory of Stephanie’s late husband, footballer Bobby Moore who sadly died from bowel cancer aged just 51.

To date the Bobby Moore Fund has raised more than �14 million for dedicated bowel cancer research. These funds are spent on high-quality bowel cancer research carried out by leading scientists working across the UK.

Currently the Bobby Moore Fund is funding several new bowel cancer projects ranging from studies into the genetics of bowel cancer, new surgical techniques, new treatments such as antibody therapy as well as ways to prevent and reduce the risk of developing bowel cancer.

In addition, there are studies taking place looking at new ways to ensure early detection of the disease. This is key because, if diagnosed early, over 80 per cent of bowel cancer cases can be successfully treated.

To help Mr Blackmore reach his fundraising target visit www.justgiving.com/davidblackmore4.

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