AFC R&D Support For “Sporting Chance” Charity Campaign During March

AFC Rushden & Diamonds is teaming up with the rest of the EVO-STIK Northern Premier League’s clubs and official charity Sports Traider to mount a month long campaign in March to give disadvantaged children a sporting chance in 2017.

To build on the success of Sports Traider’s inaugural season as the EVO-STIK NPL’s official charity in 2015-16, when a mountain of kit was donated for youngsters who can’t compete through no fault of their own, fans will be able to make a £1 voluntary donation at all fixtures throughout the month before a summer kit collection “amnesty” kicks off ahead of the new season.

Sports Traider is funding 40 bursaries for students at the NPL Football Academy again this season, and youngsters from the EVO-STIK NPL’s ground-breaking league-wide academy are also set to take part again. Like last term, more than 200 students will run their own mini fundraising campaign to the top up the pooled efforts of all EVO-STIK NPL’s 68 clubs using the online charity fundraising platform

Using the #donateapound hashtag to mobilise friends, families and local communities on social media, clubs and fans will be encouraged to engage with their schools, community groups and other clubs to maximise donations for Sports Traider and the charity’s latest initiatives like the ‘Wheel Power’ programme to provide wheelchairs for disabled young people.

Founded in 2009 in Bedford by Lance Haggith, the 2010 BBC Sports Personality of the Year Unsung Hero winner, Sports Traider is dedicated to helping UK youngsters discover and fulfil their sporting potential, whatever their background, ability or disability.

Haggith said: “We are very proud of our association with the Northern Premier League and in particular the direct aid we give to NPLFA clubs, where our support helps disadvantaged youngsters participate in getting their academic qualifications along with playing sport.

“But our work goes far beyond that into communities across the country as the ethos of our charity is to help and support less fortunate youngsters and allow them to overcome any obstacles by creating a level playing field for all.

“We saw a fantastic effort last season when so much kit was collected and we hope you can help us fund our work again in March through the donate a £1 campaign.”

EVO-STIK NPL chairman Mark Harris said: “The league was proud to be able to help our official charity do so much good work last season thanks to the efforts and generosity of all our clubs and their fans. We hope they will give it their full support again this season before we head into the third season of our fantastic charity partnership with the start of the summer kit amnesty.”

Apart from their growing number of permanent collection points and recycling banks for unwanted sports kit and equipment in strategic locations and links with schools and sports centres around the country, Sports Traider also works with local sports brands and retail outlets who are invited to donate surplus, end-of-line or seconds stock directly.

As well as being recycled and distributed locally, any donations are sold in the charity’s nationwide retail outlets with the money generated then re-invested into grassroots sport for disadvantaged children and young people.

More information on the campaign can be found on the NPL Website here, or visit the charity’s site which is at