Over the weekend of Saturday May 28 and Sunday May 29 Bradley Stoke Community School is the venue for a unique record-breaking attempt by South Gloucestershire Hockey Club (SGHC). The club, which plays its home matches at Golden Hill, hopes to set a new Guinness World Record™ for the longest hockey match in history.
The very special hockey game aims not only to earn a place in the record books but also to make as much money as possible for the local charity ‘Cots for Tots’ Appeal at Bristol’s St Michael’s Hospital.
The current hockey match record, set by Omagh Hockey Club in Ireland, in August 2010, is 30 hours and 15 minutes. SGHC plans to play for 31 hours.
SGHC chose to support ‘Cots for Tots’ after two members had direct experience of the specialist care provided by the Neo-natal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at St Michael’s, which looks after premature and critically-ill new-born babies. In October 2010, Club Secretary Craig Lewis became the father of Evan, who was born at 33 weeks and four days, weighing 4lb 15oz, and who needed to have a short stay at NICU. In May 2008, event organiser Darren Bane became father to Matthew, born at 26 weeks, weighing just 1lb 4oz (575g). Matthew spent the first six months of his life at NICU.
Darren said: “I’m quite sure that without the special equipment and expertise of the NICU staff Matthew would probably not be with us today.
“We will never be able to re-pay NICU fully for the gift they have given us, but at least we can try to give something back.”
Lauren Vincent, community fundraising manager for the Appeal, added: “The World Record attempt is a really unique challenge made even more special by Evan and Matthew’s stories. We are looking forward to joining the community in cheering on the players in May.”
Last September SGHC adopted Cots for Tots as its charity for the season, pledging to donate £1 for every goal each of its four league teams scores in their 2010/11 campaigns. This has raised £132. The club then decided to organise a ‘flagship’ event, to raise as much money as possible, and the world record attempt was born.
The ‘Cots for Tots’ Appeal aims to raise £1m to provide a new intensive care suite with four new life-saving cots at NICU and a family accommodation suite close by.
Darren said: “I am particularly grateful to Bradley Stoke Community School for pulling out all the stops to ensure we have a venue for our record attempt; we were in danger of falling at the first hurdle, but thanks to the support from the school, we are able to go ahead.
“We don’t have a specific fund raising target in mind, we just want to get as much money as we possibly can for this life-saving charity.”
Anyone who would like to sponsor the record bid can donate through the dedicated webpage at www.justgiving.com/sghc
For more about the ‘Cots for Tots’ Appeal, visit www.cotsfortots.org.uk or call 0800 919649.