Montpelier Villa FC recently ran a keepy uppy fundraiser challenge across the club to raise much needed funds due to the impact of COVID-19 on the club.
The challenge was intended to get everyone in the club from under-7s to veterans to help reach a total of 50,000 keepy uppies over two weeks with a target of £4,000 to raise in the same time period.
It was certainly a high bar, but the challenge galvanised the club and pretty much everyone from the club’s 17 teams got involved in one way or other!
Villa had been hit by the impact of the virus on club coffers due to the season finishing abruptly in the middle of March. The Villa first team, who play in Southern Combination League 2, were top of the league and close to sealing promotion when the virus hit. A lot of the youth sides were also top of their respective leagues, so the premature ending came as a big blow to the club’s ambitions.
Despite that, the fundraiser was a huge success that brought everyone together, as Director of Football, Kevin Green explains, “We were obviously gutted to lose out on promotion and when the virus hit we covered our eyes for five minutes groaning ‘oh no’ before dusting ourselves down and thinking of ways forward.
“I discussed the keepy uppy fundraiser with my chairman, Gary Pleece, and we get right onto it. That’s what I love about this club, we’re so forward thinking and progressive and ‘can do'.”
The challenge didn’t start so well, as Villa Chairman Gary Pleece explained: “After two or three days we were at about £300 or so and we had about 45,000 keepy uppies to do and I thought ‘what have we done here.’
“But momentum built, and the progress was staggering. Once we put the league tables out, it became more competitive and the numbers shot up, as did the donations!”
The 50,000 keepy uppies target was met with three days to spare and the £4,000 money target was passed with 24 hours to go.
“It’s been a magnificent effort and reflects why I love this club so much,” said Gary who is also the club’s founder.
“The messages we got from players and parents literally had me in tears. I’m so proud and thankful to everyone who got involved. Up the Villa!”
The real hero of the challenge though was Ryan Jebb from the Villa under-12s who amassed an incredible 3,555 keepy uppies in one sitting, incredible stuff!
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