HOLBROOK Hornets Youth FC are to receive a defibrillator after Suffolk FA staff successfully completed their #LiveFootballChallenge.
Members of staff took it in turns to cycle non-stop for 24 hours as part of this year’s Love Football, Live Football Week sponsored by MH Goals Ltd.
They set themselves the challenge of cycling 312 miles – one for every club in the county – with the aim of raising £1,100 towards the cost of a defibrillator.
Clubs were invited to donate £5 in return for going into a draw to see which club would win the defibrillator.
Holbrook Hornets Youth were picked out by Suffolk FA Chief Executive Richard Neal as the winners in the draw made on Tuesday morning.
After being told of their success club chairman Paul Moore said: “Holbrook Hornets Youth FC is a small community-run club, operating nine age ranges from U8s to U16s and, as with most voluntarily-run clubs, funds do not always stretch to purchase everything on the wish list.
“We take the welfare of our children and everyone associated with the club very seriously and this piece of kit will be a great addition – it will not only be available to our football club, but will also benefit our surrounding community.
“My thanks go to Suffolk FA for their amazing efforts to make this all possible.”
The club will be presented with the defibrillator in the near future.
The #LiveFootballChallenge started at 2.30pm on the Friday afternoon with an exercise bike set up at the county’s headquarters in Stowmarket.
Chief Executive Richard Neal then cycled from there on Saturday morning to Portman Road, arriving prior to Ipswich Town’s Sky Bet Championship match against Queens Park Rangers, before staff continued to cycle on the exercise bike to complete the 24-hour challenge.
The gauge finished on 435 miles – ironically one mile for every registered referee in the county – and the sum raised via the JustGiving Page set up for the event was £1,220. Suffolk FA staff are pictured above in the FanZone after completing the challenge.
Suffolk FA staff delivered or attended more than 50 events across the county during the week, which ran from Saturday, October 13th until last Saturday and was the third year the initiative has been held.
Ipswich Town partnered with Suffolk FA during the week and highlights included a school visit from first-team squad player Jordan Roberts to Thomas Wolsey Ormiston Academy in the town’s Defoe Road, 32 teams competing in a 4v4 under-7 festival at Portman Road and 20 under-9s teams taking part in a Girls’ 4v4 Festival, both at Portman Road.
The week also included visits to clubs, attending Sporting Memories, Walking Football and SSE Wildcats sessions, supporting a Small Schools’ event, running a Level One Coaching Course and hosting a coaches’ CPD event, the last three all in Lowestoft.
Suffolk FA Football Development Manager Jodie Allard, who co-ordinated the week, said: “Love Football, Live Football Week is all about celebrating our fantastic network of stakeholders across the grassroots game who make football within the county possible.
“Thank you to all our leagues, clubs, referees and players who have engaged with us across the week to make it our biggest and best Love Football, Live Football week to date.
“The team at Suffolk FA have enjoyed delivering and supporting over 50 events across the week; from adults football, to walking football, U7 festivals, girls' 4v4s and everything in between – it’s been a real showcase of everything there is to love about the local game within Suffolk.
“Football couldn’t take place without the thousands of club members, volunteers and referees who give up their time to support the local game, and we hope this week has been able to highlight their importance, as well as all the fantastic opportunities we have to get involved within the game in Suffolk.
“Thank you to all our partners who continue to contribute to creating a thriving local game within the area, by giving all players, coaches and referees the opportunity to love and live the local game.”