Super League club Hull FC have launched their Community Champions initiative at their #BeAHero day breakfast event at The Deep.
The purpose behind the initiative is to help underprivileged children turn their life around through the power of sport.
The club have set a target of raising £15,000 by the end of today and increasing that to £50,000 by the start of the 2016 Super League season in early February.
The presentation was made by Hull FC chairman Adam Pearson who revealed some frightening facts explaining: “Some of the areas of Hull are in the top 1% of deprivation in the country.
He also said: “44% of children in those areas of Hull live in poverty.”
The idea for the initiative is to give children complementary Season Pass memberships through the Hull FC Foundation, they will be picked up on match days, taken to the KC Stadium, given food and pre match entertainment, see the match and taken home afterwards.
Children aged 5 to 19 will also be given access to education and training to further help their future development.
Alan Johnson MP for Hull West and Hessle is supporting it and made an appearance at the breakfast launch and spoke about the importance of sport to help children he said: “This is a fantastic gesture from Hull FC and a worthwhile campaign that will allow us all to become Community Champions and reach out to young people in our region to give them the opportunity that otherwise would pass them by.
He also said: “I am extremely proud to be to be an ambassador for this project which will make a difference to the lives of many young people and I’m sure will leave a legacy in terms of promoting fans and players of the future and healthy and happy lives.”
Hull FC and former New Zealand international Iafeta Palea’aesina will be another ambassador for the initiative.
Another club community champion Jon Hilton gave a talk about his background and why he is also supporting the initiative with an impassioned speech which resonated with all who were present at this emotionally charged event.
FC Voices representative at the launch Lisa Jewitt said: “It’s a great initiative, FC Voices are proud to commit to this and help raise the money the club needs for it.”
The club need people to spread the word and get people and businesses to commit to this and leave a lasting legacy for the generations moving forward, people and businesses can pledge anything from £5 upwards and the club will match the donation.
The initiative will also be run in memory of former Hull FC and England youth player Bradley Parker who tragically died in a car accident earlier this month.
People can pledge by calling Ash Foster on 01482 327200 and you can find out more and pledge online at www.crowdfunder.co.uk/hullfc