Anston football team smash £1,000 target for Bluebell Wood Children’s Hospice

Players from the Anston Rangers under-13s football team have taken part in a dualthlon on one of the hottest days of the year to raise money for Bluebell Wood Children’s Hospice.

The young boys completed a duathlon consisting of a 1.3km run, 3.2k cycle and finishing with a 0.7km run before ending the event with an ice-cream on July 17.

They have raised more than £1,700 – almost double their original fundraising target.

The club’s parent liaison officer, Gemma Graham, aged 43, said: “We planned the duathlon for them where they usually train and were really careful to make it a big push for them because we didn’t want it to be too easy.”

The U13 Anston Ranger's football team

Despite the soaring temperatures, all the boys enjoyed the day and completed the event for Bluebell Wood children’s hospice.

“We just pegged them with water bombs, and sprayed water on them as they were doing it, and we gave them all ice cream at the end,” Gemma said.

“Not one of them complained, they all put in 100 per cent, and I think at the end of it they just felt really chuffed with themselves.”

Gemma, from Harthill, and the team's coach, Liam Walker, 32, from Anston, also completed seven triathlons in just one week.

Liam Walker and Gemma Graham completed seven triathlons in seven days

They started Sunday July 18 and the two completed the challenge on Saturday July 24 at Greenlands Park.

Every day consisted of a 750m swim, 20km cycle and 5km run during the hottest week of the year with temperatures reaching 30C.

Gemma said: “We wanted to do something that was for children and something local, and we had heard a lot about [Bluebell Wood Children’s Hospice] losing a lot of income over the pandemic period.

"They rely really heavily on all of the big events for sponsorship, so we said we’d do something to support them.

“We had a bit of an agreement that if the parents of the grandparents wanted to donate something we would take a little bit of that for some kit, but really this was about raising money for Bluebell Wood.”

The team will be giving 80 per cent of funds raised to Bluebell Wood Children’s Hospice and will spend the remaining funds on a new football kit for the children’s upcoming season.To donate to the team’s fundraising visit: