While the SOS Kit Aid appeal, which is endorsed by the International Rugby Board (IRB), seeks to spread the game further, it is also making good use of an estimated three quarters of a million items of kit which is discarded annually.
Scheme co-ordinator John Broadfoot said: When clubs change sponsor or maybe a school changes its colours, this makes the old kit redundant. Also, if a child grows out of his boots, this may leave a pair of boots that will end up in the attic or in landfill.
We can send it to poorer countries where the average monthly wage is only around £100 or where the kit isnt available in local sports shops. What we send could be the only material resources they receive to help the development of the game.
Because of logistics and distance, the scheme for the moment is primarily directed at Eastern Europe, with a main focus establishing rugby as a core school sport in rugby-mad Romania.
The IRB has endorsed the operation, helping it to expand to over 200 UK schools, but the intention eventually is to have upward of 2,000 involved and to circulate widely throughout developing nations in Africa, Asia and South America.
It incorporates around 100 people collecting under six regional directors and proves extremely cost effective with £6 of kit being collected for every £1 donated and Broadfoot in no doubt about its worth.
He said: If you saw the tears of joy from those who receive the kit at the other end, you would realise how vital and worthwhile the service is.
For more details, visit www.sosirbkitaid.org. A feature on the scheme will appear in MRW soon.