From the experience of his own rugby playing sons he knew there were several pairs of boots and shirts lying around at home doing nothing. So to test out the potential, John collected kit from just ten schools to see how much kit might be available on a wider scale.
The test was an outstanding success both in terms of quantity and quality of kit donated and John persuaded the International Rugby Board (IRB) to endorse and fund the project's expansion to over 1,000 schools and clubs.
With the support of the iRB, kit has been donated by schools (over 1,500), rugby clubs and kit manufacturers from across the UK and it is estimated over £2million worth of kit has been delivered to date. Over 50,000 youngsters in 19 disadvantaged countries in Eastern Europe, Africa and the South Seas have received quality used and new kit.
The key premise of the initiative is to give young disadvantaged people the opportunity to play and enjoy sport whilst also making use of kit that would otherwise simply become environmentally damaging waste.
Steve Joslin, Community Rugby Manager at Warriors, said: "It is a really exciting project for us that today will give fans an opportunity to clear out their wardrobes and donate their olds shirts to a great cause."
From 2011, the SOS Kit Aid initiative, jointly managed by The Lord's Taverners (the UK's leading youth cricket and disability sports charity and the official charity for recreational cricket) and the iRB and sponsored by insurance company LV= (sponsors of the County Cricket Championship and the Anglo Welsh rugby competition), will aim to give more young people a sporting chance.
LV= SOS Kit Aid will provide unwanted rugby and cricket kit to children of all abilities and backgrounds in the UK and overseas. Over 300 tonnes of environmentally damaging CO2 emissions have been saved by recycling over 50,000 tonnes of sports kit. For more information visit www.lvsoskitaid.com