The GSD U12 basketball group in Bognor created a fantastic fundraising initiative to help raise vital funds for local children’s charity, The Sussex Snowdrop Trust and St Wilfrid’s Hospice in Bosham.
Anneliese Flynn from the club explains, “The U12 team have been working hard putting together a fun video showing all team members passing the ball to each other. We are all missing our matches and training sessions and this was the perfect way to connect with each other during lockdown. We are aware that many local charities are finding it hard to raise funds during the pandemic, so we devised a way to help them. We are asking the public who are unable to join in this private event to be our virtual cheer leaders by donating to these worthwhile causes.”
David Morgan, the club coach, set a target for each of the two teams. One team was dedicated to raising funds for The Sussex Snowdrop Trust, who are currently supporting 70 families in the area with nursing care in the homes of children who have a life threatening or terminal illness. The families have experienced long periods of being ‘shielded’ which has resulted high levels of anxiety requiring emotional support from the counsellor. Health care workers have connected with the children with online storytelling sessions and puppets shows and the nurses have continued to provide advice and visited homes in full PPE. The basketball team had to make one thousand, nine hundred and ninety two free throws with a basketball into the net, to mark the year the Trust was born.(1992) and raised over £500.
The other team focused on fundraising for the St Wilfrid’s Hospice who continue to provide support to over 360 of the most vulnerable elderly and terminally ill adults in the community at any one time. With many fundraising events cancelled to social distancing rules and half their shops remaining closed, income has been hard hit. The basketball players supporting the St Wilfrid’s team had to shoot one thousand, nine hundred and eighty-seven hoops, as this was the year the hospice opened in its original site on Grosvenor Road in Chichester. (1987)
The event was held at the Felpham club with strict social distance guidelines and hygiene procedures in place with David, the coach, spraying the basketball hoop regularly after each player had completed their free throws using their own ball.
David comment, “I’m very proud of the rules and initiatives in place within the GSDBA (our junior basketball league). One rule within the league is that each team competing within it must complete one fundraising event each year for a local cause or charity. This is firstly to install a sense of community spirit within the children, and secondly to actively encourage the teams to connect with their local communities.
What happened last Sunday was very special. I set an extremely difficult challenge for both teams, asking a great deal of them both. Children, as young as 8 years old, spent the entire day outside, shooting against the wind. It didn’t matter how many shots were blown out of the basket, they just continued to shoot. The resilience and determination from them all was incredible. In addition to this, the parent support we received was absolutely wonderful. I often refer to our club as our “GSD family” and that day really showcased this. When this many people begin to connect and work together in this way, there’s no limit to what they can achieve.
Next season we intend to triple the number of teams we enter in to the league and therefore we will be actively looking for charities/causes for these teams to work with. If you know of an appropriate cause in need, please do not hesitate to contact: firstname.lastname@example.org.”
Di Levantine, Chairman and Co‐Founder of the Trust says, “Congratulations to all the players who took part in this event. It takes a huge amount of work and dedication to put on an event such as this. We are so grateful for the support from parents and grandparents for donating. To receive over
£500 is so welcome at this time with so many events being cancelled. Our Snowdrop nurses have supported a family attached to the Basketball club so they can appreciate the difference the Snowdrop team can make physically, emotionally and financially to a family. It is wonderful that the club connected with a children’s charity as well as a charity who care for the elderly which promotes the need for nursing care at the most important time in a person’s life. In this time of uncertainty, it is humbling that so many are reaching out to raise vital funds for local charities. We are so grateful.”