A couple of weekends ago I found myself sitting under a makeshift gazebo and several umbrellas, on Clapham Common, sipping some warm white wine and trying to watch my other half play football, in between the sheets of driving rain.
Why was I doing this? Because the fella and his team were raising money for Tackle Africa, which helps fight aids in young people in Africa. His team – Sub-standard Leige – and 51 others, were taking part in an epic football marathon; 12 hours of football, 8am – 8pm. The game was played in a series of tournaments, which eventually revealed the best and worst teams from first place, right through to 52nd place.
It was grueling to say the least – if the state of his feet afterwards was anything to go by – and at around 4pm the quality of football had certainly become somewhat ‘sub-standard’. Think flailing arms and very little running. One team had just given up playing. Though with 50 minutes of playing, followed by a ten-minute break and then starting all over again, who could blame them. But it was an epic day, great fun with real camaraderie, and which crucially raised £101,508 (and counting) for the charity.
And it doesn’t stop there. This Friday two netball teams will attempt breaking the Guinness World Record by completing the world’s longest netball match (60 hours non-stop) on the weekend of the 20 to 22 August, all in aid of The Royal Marsden Cancer Campaign, for which they hope to raise £30,000.
Claygate Netball Club and New Malden Netball Club want to raise money for the world-leading cancer centre, because it was the place that successfully treated one of their team mates for lymphoma. And she is even playing this weekend!
The money raised will specifically fund a Cyberknife, a clever device which can target hard-to-treat tumours.
The weekend will be a very tough one. Two squads of 10-12 players will play a continuous netball match from Friday 7am to Sunday 7pm. Each squad member will play for roughly three-and-a-half hours, before having a 90-minute break. It is estimated that each player will run around three marathons over the 60 hours. They can only leave the courtside for five minutes so will have to sleep and eat next to the pitch.
The event kicks (or throws, rather) off at The Guildford Spectrum at 7am on Friday 20 August, and runs right through until 7pm on Sunday 22 August.
Image by Lochnagarth courtesy of Flickr