SPAR stores across the North Coast recently brought their best fancy footwork to the pitch for the inaugural Hendersons North Coast 5-a-side Football Tournament, raising over £1,300 for the NSPCC’s ChildLine Schools Service in the process.
Taking place at the Joey Dunlop Leisure Centre in Ballymoney at the start of October, the event saw store rivalry reach unprecedented levels - all in the name of protecting local children from abuse.
Robin Smith from SPAR Castlerock Road said: “Five stores took part in the tournament - Castlerock Rd, Millburn Rd, Castle Street, Moyle Rd and Greystone. The format was simple, every store played each other once in a 12 minute long group match.
“The team which finished top of the table played the store which finished second in a 20 minute final. Just for fun we also had a wooden spoon match for the teams finishing the table in fourth and fifth.
“Greystone played Castlerock Rd in the final and came out victorious in a tightly contested match.
“Moyle Road was awarded the dreaded wooden spoon for finishing last, but also won the fair play award for their great sportsmanship!”
Thanking local teams for giving their all to the competition, NSPCC corporate fundraiser Marie McGuckin said that the event was a ‘back of the net’ for local children and families: “We know we can always rely on Henderson SPAR stores to deliver a great result for the NSPCC, so we’re delighted they’ve been able to support our services through such an enjoyable event.
“Competition was fierce, but with such a positive aspiration as ending cruelty to children there weren’t too many dirty tackles! Thanks to all the stores who took part – your efforts will make a huge difference for those most in need of our support.
“All funds raised through this event will go towards enabling ChildLine to continue delivering keeping safe messages in local primary schools. The ChildLine Schools Service, which is delivered by trained volunteers and provided for free to all primary schools across the UK, aims to help children aged 9-11 understand abuse.
“The service gives children the confidence to talk about abuse, the knowledge to prevent it and the courage to find help if they ever need it.”
You can show your support for local children and families by texting NIChild to 70744 to make a donation of £4.