Pupils hold 24 hour football match for Sheffield Children’s Hospital

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Representatives from Sheffield United and Sheffield Wednesday greeted a group of charitable Birkdale School pupils last Friday as they kicked off for a 24 hour football fundraiser.

Players, who were split into a yellow and blue team, began the match at 4pm on Friday and continued throughout the night until 4pm Saturday. Incredibly, the game was decided by just two goals – with the yellow team victorious at 235 goals to 233.

Over 80 pupils aged from 11 to 18 joined in with the event, which was part of the school’s ongoing mission to raise £25,000 for The Children’s Hospital Charity this year. The sponsor money from the football match is still rolling in but already they have already collected £1400.

Chris Rodgers, teacher of DT and Sport at Birkdale School said, “The lads were great. They kept rotating on and off and having little breaks. They were absolutely exhausted during Saturday and some had blisters on their feet but they were determined to keep going. The positive approach and atmosphere throughout was excellent.”

Sheffield Wednesday Academy players Warren Clarke and Matthew Penny arrived on the Friday to spur the boys on and Sheffield United’s Community Coach Rob Jenkinson visited to hold a ‘speed gun’ competition to measure the boys’ ‘shot speed’. Pupil, Corben Ollivent won with a shot of 64mph.

Year 8 pupil, George Butterley who completed the whole 24 hours said, “We have all had a great time. There was the opportunity to play football all night with our mates and also raise money for such a great cause. Its something we certainly wont forget.”

Year 13 pupil Andreas Ciravegna added, “The pace of the game did slow slightly on Saturday morning but our energy levels were boosted by Mr Rodgers who made us all bacon sandwiches for breakfast – they were just what we needed.”

Local businesses came together to spur the boys on, with Dominos donating pizzas on the Friday night and Morrisons in Broomhill stepping in to provide bacon and breadcakes for the Saturday morning breakfast.

Birkdale School began their fundraising last year and have so far raised over £3,400 through their football match, a Christmas jumper day and a Christmas concert.

Cheryl Davidson, Community Fundraiser for The Children’s Hospital Charity said, “We’d like to say a massive well done to the pupils at Birkdale who have done an amazing job with their football match! The £25,000 Birkdale School is aiming to raise will be enough to fund an ensuite bedroom in the new wing of Sheffield Children’s Hospital. These bedrooms will help us to provide the best environment possible for patients, allowing them to recover in comfort.”

The Children’s Hospital Charity funds provisions over and above the NHS standard for Sheffield Children’s Hospital. The charity exists to ensure that the world-class care provided by Sheffield Children’s Hospital is matched by world-class equipment and facilities. If you would like to support the charity you can make a donation online at www.tchc.org.uk/donate