The countdown is on as one of the popular charity tournaments in the county prepares to warm up and kick off for another goal in one.
The annual Play2Give football tournament returns for its eighth year to score some superb objectives on Sunday July 3rd which will see teams from local businesses and groups of budding Beckham’s and Lampard’s take to the pitch for a fun friendly day of footballing fun. The 6 a side men’s contest will take place on the 3G pitches of Oxford City Football Club’s community arena to raise thousands of pounds for the Oxford Children’s Hospital and Headway Oxfordshire, which supports over 400 adults with acquired brain injuries and their carer’s families.
In previous years, the well renowned Play2Give football tournaments have raised over £33,600 since being established in 2007 with the Oxford Children’s Hospital having benefited from around £30,180 alone. The football tournaments have become hugely established in Oxfordshire and a firm favourite in the county’s charity calendar amongst the many footballers that take part from the very young to the more mature and older alike. Award-winning Didcot BACA Play2Give organise many fundraising events and initiatives each year for its chosen charities with its football tournaments having been hailed as the best tournament in Oxfordshire for charity by many teams in the past. In total, Play2Give has donated over £47,730 and will celebrate its big tenth birthday next year.
Both the Children’s Hospital and Headway, based in Kennington, are close to the hearts of the Play2Give team of volunteers and, in particular to its founder, Andrew Baker. The 28-year-old former St Birinus School pupil, who set up Play2Give in 2007, sustained a brain injury at birth and spent the first few days of his life fighting for life in the special care baby unit of the John Radcliffe Hospital. Aged eight Andrew, of Great Western Drive, Didcot, suffered a further head injury after being knocked over at school and aged 12 in 2001 he underwent major brain surgery to a tumour. Today, he continues to fight strong through attending a weekly group at the Headway centre as part of his rehabilitation. His surgery at the Radcliffe Infirmary in 2001 was the catalyst for Andrew to begin fundraising aged 14 for the Oxford Children’s Hospital.
Companies warming up and set to don their football boots and kits for this special tournament include MMR Research, based in Wallingford, Allmakes 4×4 on Milton Park near Abingdon and The M Group in Oxford. Tom Bowling, Senior Statistician, at MMR says: “We’re really looking forward to the Play2Give tournament. It should be a great day out and an opportunity to raise money for a fantastic cause, of whom we are inspired by the founder Andrew for the fantastic work he and his team do, and we can’t wait to don our boots and strike some hopeful goals for what is a brilliant event.”
Allmakes 4×4 with over 30 years of trading are a worldwide supplier of parts and accessories for land rover vehicles, and has grown into one of the most recognised suppliers for land rover parts in existence. Other teams set to take part include Cottsway Housing Association in Witney and Oxford’s MY OX4 Lifeline, a community recovery hub for individuals achieving and maintain abstinence from drugs and alcohol.
In total 14 teams will battle it out. The event is sponsored by estate agents Breckon & Breckon and Newbury Building Society. There will be music from Radio Cherwell, food and refreshments, a raffle and a bouncy castle.
Thanks to thousands of supporters, Andrew has raised more than £62,700 for charities, with over £52,150 for the Children’s Hospital