On Sunday, St George’s Day, there is a charity football match between Playing 4 Parkinson and Kicking 4 Cancer Research at Dartford’s Princes Park kicking off at 1:30 p.m.
Two friends, Ruby Wheeler and Phoebe Phillips, are behind the game and Ruby has told Kent Sports News the reason for arranging the match, and how it came about.
“Recently, I have found a great interest in event planning and I couldn’t think of a better way than to get experience in this industry than by raising money at the same time.” she said “I love football as well, so it only made sense that the event was football related.”
“It is not the first time that she has organised a fund raising activity as she explained “As opposed to my Charity Party I held in October 2016, I have found this event has required a lot more time and preparation.
“First of all I found a ground where the event can be held. Dartford FC was an obvious choice for me. It’s local, has great facilities and the pitch is very nice. As a few of my players watch Dartford, it’s a dream for them to play on their pitch.
“Finding players was the easy part – to play football whilst raising money was an offer they couldn’t turn down. I have quite a big involvement in football already by supporting boyfriend Ryan Flack play for Chatham Town
“I have a lot of contacts in the football industry. Ryan Palmer (Ashford Town) kindly offered that his company ‘Kickup Sports’ would love to be the official sponsors of the event, which was great for us and them. Good recognition for them and three extra players for my team. Non league legend Jon Main, Steadman Callendar and Paul Springett also jumped at the chance.
“Sorting out a referee was easy too. My dad, who is also playing, (Kelvin Wheeler) helped with this and he also paid the pitch hire fee. He is also bring a few of his friends down so the team is a mixture of ages.
“We also have a photographer (David Loveday) who I have met whilst watching Ryan play. He has generously offered to come along and take photos on the day, free of charge.”
When asked why the particular charities were chosen, she said “Since my Grandad was diagnosed with Parkinson’s in 2014, I have found a huge interest in raising money for Parkinson’s UK. You have the motivation to try and achieve as much as you can in order to help the charity progress in their research. People like my Grandad are always after answers and without the generosity of people fund raising they would never be answered.
“We are also raising money for Cancer Research, Phoebe’s charity of choice with them and Parkinson’s UK getting half of the funds raised each. Both of her Grandads have cancer so it’s a charity close to her heart
“The sad truth is, if you don’t already know someone affected by Cancer the current statistics show that you more than likely will. I can only hope that with the fund raising we do, it all begins to make a difference and inspires more people to do the same.”
She finished by expressing her gratitude for all who have helped. “Any total of money raised will only be successful and a step in the right direction and will benefit both charities. I can’t thank the people that have participated and the people that have volunteered their time enough, as they are the ones that have helped make this possible.”
Hopefully, they will be rewarded with a good turnout of people having fun whilst contributing to two good causes.