A tournament was next on the schedule with mixed teams from across the Under 11 and Under 12 age groups competing on the pitch. These included Garston Ladies, Hillingdon Abbots, Kings Langley FC, Macs, Parkfield, St Ives Rangers Girls, Watford Youth Sports, Wealdstone FC, and two teams from the Trust’s Premier League Kicks (PL Kicks) delivery in Cotlandswick and Meriden. It was a great afternoon of football in the sun with Parkfield winning the tournament.
With the focus being on younger footballers during the morning and early afternoon, it was then the turn of sixteen to eighteen-year-olds. The pitch markings changed to an eleven-a-side match as two of the Trust’s football and education programmes then took to the field, Westfield Football Academy versus Whitmore High School Football and Education Scheme.
With eight hours on the event clock, the players increased in age once again, with an adult tournament taking over for the final slot at Vicarage Road. The football was played in good spirits with ten teams involved, including ‘The WTW Warriors’ representing event sponsors WTW. Also involved were teams representing two further Trust programmes from their health and wellbeing department – Shape Up and Man On.
As the sun set on Vicarage Road, the metaphorical half-time whistle was blown, and the event made a transfer to Watford Football Club’s Training Ground for their second half.
The first action to take place in the Dome at the training ground was a mini-under-eighteens-tournament organised by the Trust’s PL Kicks programme. Joining the teams made up of players from the Cotlandswick and Meriden PL Kicks sessions, were Kinsbourne Youth and St Josephs. It was the latter that would run out winners in this tournament.
It was now the early hours of the morning and event partner AMYA UK took over, taking on the biggest slot of the night with a range of players from across their association’s network. A fantastic effort from each and every one of them.
Into the final stages of this challenging feast of football then and Croxley Green Under 7s and Universal Elite Football Academy Under 8s were up to the task with sessions in the Dome as the penultimate action to take place.
To bring the event to a close in a session full of bright Watford FC yellow were the players from the Trust’s Player Development Centres. As the games came to an end and the clock struck noon, the players gave a big cheer and the 24-Hour Football Marathon was complete!
Leah Crocket, the Trust’s Events & Marketing Officer, said of the event:
“Congratulations and thank you to all the players, team managers and spectators for playing their part in a wonderful two days of football and raising vital funds for two extremely good causes. Thank you must also go to our event sponsors WTW, our friends at AMYA UK, and of course, the many staff and volunteers who helped before and during the marathon, this would not have been possible without their support.”
As the total fundraising amount and expenses are worked through, the donations pages are still open. You can support players at https://givepenny.com/campaign/24-hour-football-marathon or donate directly at https://www.watfordfccsetrust.com/make-a-donation/ leaving a note ’24-Hour Football Marathon’.
Money raised from this event will go toward children’s relief efforts home and away. This includes:
Home – Watford FC CSE Trust
- Mental wellbeing primary school programme delivered in Hertfordshire and Harrow.
- Educational workshops.
Away – Humanity First
- Clean water solutions for villages in Africa.
- Enhancing school facilities and equipment for children in Africa.