Great effort by 24-hour footballers
Students and college staff raise £3,200 for cardiac charity in games
UXBRIDGE College students and staff played football non-stop for 24 hours, raising a massive £3,200 for Cardiac Risk in the Young (CRY).
Players took part in a series of five-a-side matches starting at 11am and continuing all day and throughout the night – with some on the pitch for 10-12 hours.
Around 40 sports students took turns playing across the whole 24 hours on April 18 and 19, with others taking part in one-off matches.
The event was coordinated by sports lecturer Richard Johnson, whose own experiences of cardiac problems inspired the choice of charity.
Richard said: “This was harder than any of us expected and a massive team effort. The word that defined the whole event is character – the students showed incredible character and dedication, and despite being fatigued to the max most of them kept going through the whole 24-hours.
“There was blood, sweat and tears behind the scenes too when things got tough, but they encouraged each other to keep going.
“The amount of money they raised is fantastic too – one student, Matt Seven, raised more than £600 by himself. Everyone did amazingly.”
Richard spent the first two months of his life in hospital after being born with a hole in the heart and related issues, and as he grew up was warned by doctors to avoid strenuous exercise but has been involved in cross-country running and other sports since he was a teenager and continues to be in good health.
Standout included ‘man players of the match’ Jack Pitcher, 20, who was top goal scorer and clocked up 12 hours of play.
Also honoured for their performances were Dylan Pollington and Joe Holland, both 18 who each received a winner’s trophy for their team, and as well as playing for hours on end, they helped organised the event and motivated others.
The local representative for CRY, Jeff Markham from Ruislip, spoke to students about how he came to be involved in the charity. Jeff ’s son died suddenly in 2001 at the age of just 21 from undiagnosed heart problems and he and his family were supported by CRY.
Jeff said: “It was lovely to be involved and quite emotional for me to be part of because of the personal meaning.
“It is amazing effort done with real enthusiasm and commitment.
“Congratulations to everyone, for their incredible performances and for the money raised for CRY.”
Each participant had to raise or donate money, and a raffle was also held with prizes included club shirts signed by the Arsenal Ladies FC players, and CRY patron and former Chelsea and Manchester United player Ray Wilkins.
There were also other fundraising events including a keepy-up competition and guess the football badge challenge.
The event was also supported by the college’s caterers Chartwell, who provided sandwiches, with Prontaprint Uxbridge sponsoring T-shirts for the event.
CRY works to reduce the frequency of young sudden cardiac death (known as YSCD), supporting young people diagnosed with potentially lifethreatening cardiac conditions, promoting and developing heart screening programmes and funding medical research.
The charity provides support bereaved families.
There was blood, sweat and trears behind the scenes when things got tough, but the y encouraged each other to keep going”
n A GAME OF SEVERAL HALVES: Uxbridge College students and teachers played non-stop football for 24 hours to raise money for the charity Cardiac Risk in the Young (CRY)