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Ice hockey team sends toys to sick children in Malawi

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An ice hockey team is donating toys thrown onto the ice in its “air the bear” event to sick children in Malawi.

Glasgow Clan’s annual “Air the Bear” event sees supporters throw new toys on to the ice for local charities such as Glasgow’s Royal Hospital for Sick Children and this year it will also benefit the Malaria Alert Centre in Blantyre, Malawi.

The team has joined forces with the University of Glasgow to ship toys to Blantyre, Malawi, to give to children waking up from a malaria coma.

Scientists at the University of Glasgow’s Institute of Infection, Immunity and Inflammation and the Wellcome Centre for Molecular Parasitology (WCMP) have close research links with Malawi.

When travelling to Malawi for research scientists use their baggage allowance to take donations of surplus medical supplies and equipment to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Blantyre, Malawi.

On their next research trip their luggage will also include the toys from the “air the bear” event which took place at Braehead Arena in December.

Gareth Chalmers, Glasgow Clan chief operating officer, said: “We were recently approached by Clan fan Michael Rennie, who works as a research technician at the University of Glasgow, regarding supporting the Malaria Alert Centre with soft toys from our annual Air the Bear event.

“As it’s for a very worthwhile cause, we had no hesitation in agreeing to support this.”

He thanked supporters for their generosity.

Professor Andy Waters, WCMP director, said: “We have been providing toys for these children in Malawi for some time now, usually pre-used and donated by colleagues and their friends.

“It is difficult to overstate how appreciated the toys are by the children and their families who have just come through the most stressful of circumstances.

“The fantastic generosity of the Glasgow Clan Ice Hockey team will ensure that more Blantyre children will be comforted as they pull through a life-threatening illness due to the skill and dedication of the staff at Malawi’s QEH.”

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