A young football fan and Sir Bobby Robson Foundation fundraiser is combining his twin passions by completing his latest charity challenge on the pitch at St James’ Park today (9 May).
Ollie Chaplin, 12-years-old from Whitley Bay, has undertaken a number of activities to raise money for the North East cancer charity, including a World Cup sweepstake, raffling a football shirt and participating in the Junior Great North Run.
Now, the Valley Gardens Middle School pupil has almost finished a difficult sponsored challenge to complete 10,000 ‘keepy ups’ in just a month.
Ollie, who plays for his school team and national cup winners, Monkseaton Juniors FC U12s Reds, has been playing keepy up everywhere he goes for the last three weeks, averaging over 350 a day.
In recognition of his fundraising efforts, Distinction Doors, the UK’s leading composite door supplier, has given Ollie the chance to be a mascot at Newcastle United’s next home game, and the club agreed he can also complete his challenge on the pitch in front of his family, friends – and tens of thousands of Magpie’s fans.
It is a daunting prospect and Ollie’s dad, Tom Chaplin, is very proud that he has taken the challenge on.
Tom says: “Ollie wanted to support the charity by doing something he loves. I’m extremely proud of him for showing the determination to support a fantastic local charity completely off his own back.
“He’s managed the challenge himself, has publicised it with a JustGiving page and via his Instagram account, and I know all of his family, friends and teachers at school are really proud of him too.
“To see him finish it on the pitch at St James’ Park will be fantastic. Family and friends have already been really generous and I hope a few more people will support his fundraising when they hear about it.”
Ollie will attempt to complete his challenge at St James’ Park before Newcastle United take on West Bromwich Albion today.
Ollie says: “It is a tough challenge but I’m willing to work hard to achieve 10,000 keepy ups to help raise money for an amazing charity. I’m a bit nervous but very excited to be finishing the challenge on the pitch at St James Park!
“Thank you to everyone who has already supported me. I’d like to raise as much money as possible for the charity.”
The Sir Bobby Robson Foundation helps find effective ways to detect and treat cancer. It funds projects, including the clinical trials of new drugs, that directly benefit patients from across the North East and Cumbria and which contribute significantly to international research into cancer.
David Gomersall, operations director at Distinction Doors, says: “The Sir Bobby Robson Foundation is a fantastic charity and we are delighted to be able support Ollie in his ‘keepy ups’ challenge.
“With Sir Bobby Robson having played over 200 games for West Bromwich Albion, this game is a fitting stage for Ollie to complete his challenge and I am sure both home and away fans will be supporting Ollie on the day.”
To support Ollie and help him reach his goal of £200 for the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation, please sponsor him by texting SBRF49 £2 to 70070, or by visiting https://www.justgiving.com/Ollies10000.