Giving Back: Stadium Walk

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We caught up with MAN v FAT Wolverhampton coach Mark Lamb to find out about a charity walk held by members of our clubs in the Birmingham area.

What inspired you to do the walk?
A few of the players from the Wolverhampton and West Brom clubs had mentioned wanting to do something for charity that would challenge us and help with the weight loss journeys for all of us.

There was a mixture of football team fans within the group mentioning it, originally, we considered walking the Hawthorns to the Molineux, but then as an extra push we decided to add in all of the other stadiums within the Midlands. 

How did you organise the event?
We started to gauge some interest from the 2 MAN v FAT Clubs and realised we had around 20-30 people saying they were interested. We set up a WhatsApp group and invited anyone that was interested.

I also extended the invite within the coaches’ chat to local Midlands clubs as well, Fox Hollies and Oldbury had some interested parties.

Within the WhatsApp group we discussed the plans and suggested dates within a poll to get the most convenient for the majority. 

How did you get the players involved?
Aiming the event at Birmingham Children’s Hospital and MIND was a good way to get players involved as we had a number of players who had been affected and utilised both of these services.

I made sure the WhatsApp group was regularly updated to keep the players engaged in the walk. Linking it in with the football aspect as well gave us a good buy in, visiting all the stadiums gave the guys something to focus on such as wanting to see their home ground, especially for the Wolves fans who knew that at the end of it all we would be at their home stadium.

What were the issues in delivering such a big event?
Losing people closer to the event, due to injuries or lack of commitment, naturally some people will always talk themselves into something like this but then when it actually occurs they will find a way to get out of it, so the initial 30 players showing interest dwindled down to around 15, which in fairness actually helped as it gave us a chance to be more of a collective group and support each other through it.

How much did your raise?
We raised just over £3,000 in total, with it going half each to MIND and Birmingham Children’s Hospital.

What are your future plans for giving back at the club?
We are planning to do a walk-up Snowdon or potentially a Tough Mudder as a group. We have also run a collection for a member of the club who has been hospitalised with a heart condition, the club have collected together to get him some Arsenal memorabilia and shopping vouchers for him and his family.

I am also looking at asking the Wolverhampton club to do a toy drive with a potential to supply to a local charity for Christmas.

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