Alpha aces top their fundraising goal – and get back on the ball!
Delight as club raises over £12k with ‘2km a day’ walking challenge
Friday, 2nd April 2021 — By Steve Barnett
Alpha Football Intelligence’s Under-12s, who made their long-awaited return to league action on Monday night
WHEN coaches from Alpha Football Intelligence sent out a clarion call to raise vital funds for the club, they dreamed of getting “two or three thousand pounds”.
Looking to parents for support in tackling the crippling impact that the ongoing pandemic has had on their finances, the club, who play in the Camden and Islington Youth League, set a “walk 2km a day for 2 weeks” fundraising challenge.
What happened next left them all speechless.
“We could handle the first lockdown, but by the time we reached the third one we really needed some help,” explained club manager Jean-Francois Scarfo, known by most as simply “JF”.
“We thought we might raise a couple of thousand pounds, at best, which would be massive for the club. But nobody could have expected what happened.
“We’ve still got some final payments coming in, but the last time I checked we have raised over £12,700. It’s unbelievable.
“The level of support that the parents and kids have shown, and the effort that they have put in, is just incredible.”
A couple of families walked over 15km in one day to help raise money, while teenager Louis Moncrieffe covered a total distance of 147.73km over the course of the two weeks – averaging around 10km a day.
Revealing where the money will be spent, JF added: “We have to pay for our pitch hire quarterly in advance, so while we will get a credit because we obviously haven’t been able to use the pitches, it’s still a bill that has to be paid up front.
“The money will also help pay for new equipment, and also help pay for those kids who can’t afford their training fees, so that they are still able to play.”
Islington-based Alpha, who train at Whittington Park in Archway, always planned on giving 10 per cent of any money raised to charity. And with the cash now almost all collected and counted, there could really only be one beneficiary.
JF said: “Everyone in the NHS has done so much for all of us during the pandemic.
“We want to give a little back, so will be making a donation to the Whittington Hospital.
“That’s the area that we, as a club, are from and we wanted to keep it local. Plus we have a couple of parents who work at the hospital.”
Alpha’s big fundraiser was about more than money, however.
JF said: “Of course, we wanted to raise money for the club. But we also wanted to involve everyone – players, parents, siblings – and help keep everyone active and healthy during lockdown.
“We’ve even been holding yoga sessions on Zoom which have gone down really well.”
The extra fitness will have come in handy this week when grassroots sport finally returned during the government’s latest round of lockdown-easing measures.
Outdoor sport facilities have now reopened along with tennis and basketball courts, while organised team sports that are played outdoors, including football, have also restarted.
“We’re all really buzzing,” added JF. “It’s been so long. To be getting back out and playing again is just amazing.”