Play at the Park, a tournament organised by Exeter City’s Football in the Community team has raised almost £5,000 for Prostate Cancer UK, with money still coming in.
The event, which 18 teams entered, was one of six run nationally, after the club was selected by the Football League to host the South West area tournament in aid of Prostate Cancer UK, the League’s official charity partners.
The day was split into two separate tournaments – the over-16s event in the morning, won by Jamaican Me Crazy and the over-35s in the afternoon, won by Shaldon Villa - with a raffle for a bike donated by Route 2 Cycles in Topsham. More money will be added to the final total next month when Exeter City volunteer Richard Horne completes the London to Amsterdam bike challenge.
All teams donated a minimum of £200 in entry fees to PCUK and the top sponsorship fundraisers were Source, the business support service from South West Water, who raised over £600.
Mark Baitup, the Source team manager, said that they had a special reason for getting involved.
“A few months ago my father in law, Chris Howard, was diagnosed with prostate cancer. The lads in the office agreed to all donate £10 each to be part of the 10-man squad,” he said.
“We then went around the office, spoke to friends and family and the money just started to come in. The support we received over a relatively short amount of time was staggering. We also had unbelievable support from Rob Dawson at Mindsport Consulting Ltd, who provided sponsorship and kit for the day and is also helping with our next challenge of completing the Great West Run for Prostate Cancer UK.
“As well as raising the money we also managed to get Chris into a football stadium for the first time, watch some live football and take the kick off in the first game. This could not have happened without Exeter City’s Football in the Community team and the fantastic event that was put together.”
Jamie Vittles, Head of Community at Exeter City who organised the tournament, said he was delighted the event had gone so well.
“Despite the standing water on the pitch when we arrived on Sunday morning, the tournament was a real success thanks to the enthusiastic participation of all the teams. It was terrific to see how everyone had really taken the cause to their hearts,” he said.
“We were really pleased that so many businesses who are friends of the football club, such as Exeter Subway and Signs Express, entered the tournament and supported our fundraising efforts as did Printing.com, who sponsored all our posters and flyers.”
Representatives from both Prostate Cancer UK and the Football League were in attendance on the day and Mike Summers, from the charity, hailed Exeter City’s efforts.
“Hot on the heels of a great season as official charity partner of the Football League, these tournament days have showcased the continued community spirit of clubs throughout the country.
“Prostate cancer is an opponent like no other. It kills one man every hour and events like these help us to further highlight this serious issue and raise vital funds in a fun way and we thank everyone involved on and off the pitch at Exeter City.”