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Local lads score a worldie for local community group

Teamwork makes the dream work, as 3 friends took on the David Goggins 4X4X48 challenge to raise money for Ludgershall based charity Kick Start FC, not only achieving their goal of £100 but smashing it and raising £1155 (At time of writing).

Nathan Strong, Reece Daly and Luke Sadler all met through football and decided to take on the challenge to raise money for Kick Start FC, who are a charity that support those with mental health. Kick Start FC was founded in 2020 by Michael Cunningham with the purpose to ‘tackle the mind’. Using the power of football to support those who may be suffering with mental health issues the group holds football sessions once a week for men and women over 16 and is free of charge, though a donation is asked to help support the work and projects of the group. The group sessions will be back up and running on 31st March at the Tidworth astro turf, with COVID safety measures in place the session can only have 30 people.

Reece Daly, who serves in the armed forces, told 95.9FM Andover Radio “In my profession poor mental health is something that some soldiers struggle with on a daily basis and sadly all too often it consumes them and drives them to suicide. That’s why I wanted to give back to a charity that shows people a different way and listens to them when they need to be heard.

“Michael Cunningham the creator of Kickstart FC is a very good friend of mine, as I am originally from Ellesmere Port about 20 minutes away from Liverpool. I knew nobody in the area and spent most weekends lonely on camp. Through football I met Michael along with Nathan Strong and Luke Sadler who were my co-runners and co-fundraisers. It was them accepting me into their friendship group that allowed me to become settled in the area and an actual member of the community”.

The challenge from marathon runner David Goggins which consists them to run four miles every four hours for 48 hours started on Friday March 12th with the friends taking a variety of routes around Andover, Tidworth and Ludgershall. Reece added “I have always admired David Goggins and I had listened to a podcast he did with Joe Rogan and he mentioned his challenge of 4 miles every 4 hours for 48 hours to raise awareness-for mental health so I thought perfect!

“Luke and Nathan thought it was a great idea so we set out to do it. During the challenge I think we went through every emotion possible but one over riding desire came out in us all and that was to keep going! I went through some dark moments in that 48 hours, which made me think that’s nothing to the dark years or months that people who are suffering with their mental health have suffered! And also as my father always said to me no matter how tough a task it is there is always one option and that is to keep going so that’s what I did and we smashed it as a team!”

They started out with a target of £100 and they have smashed it by raising over £1155 (at time of writing). Reece added “We raised over £1,000 which I thought was absolutely impossible! I honestly did not think we would get over £150 that just goes to show how badly this charity is needed! We all need something like kickstart maybe not always but for those times we do need it, it will always be there thanks to Michael Cunningham.”

Founder of Kick Start FC Michael Cunningham told us “What the lads have done is absolutely incredible. They have raised over £1000 for Kick Start FC which is going to help us with future projects, but more importantly they were able to raise a lot of awareness over the course of the weekend.”

Nathan Strong told us “I took on this challenge to really test my own personal limits and mental strength, which fit nicely into why we chose to raise funds and awareness for Kick Start FC. They are trying to provide support for people that maybe struggling but don’t really know where to turn. The support and generosity from people has been incredible, especially in such difficult times for everyone financially.”

To find out more about the Kick Start FC and the work they do visit www.kickstartfc.org and you can show your support and donate to their Just Giving page.

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