Non League Daily

Jez George's #Mission676

#MISSION 676: to walk from Newcastle United to Norwich City, via every English Premier League stadium - an incredible 676 miles - to raise at least £200,000 for Cambridge United's Community Trust.

Jez will visit each Premier League stadium situated in England over 26 days Jez will visit each Premier League stadium situated in England over 26 days

Cambridge United wants its Trust to emulate the phenomenal success of its widely respected Youth Development Scheme.

Its 9 - 16 year-olds play every week against top academies in the country - the likes of Chelsea, Tottenham and Manchester City - despite receiving zero funding from the football authorities.

Jez George's mammoth walk will give its Community Trust the financial platform to make the same impact in Cambridge's community through a series of programmes for young offenders, children at risk of exclusion, ethnic minority groups, disability groups, the homeless and people living in areas of deprivation.

Famous Premier League players, managers and celebrities will greet Jez at every stadium along the way. Further details will be announced in the days leading up to his exhausted arrival in each city.

Speaking in advance, 44-year-old Jez said:

"I am doing the easy bit. My challenge is to walk 26 marathons in 26 days. The club and the Community Trust's challenge is to raise as much money as possible so we can deliver as many charitable projects within the community in 2014/15 and beyond. The more money we raise, the more people we can help.

"The Trust has the potential to emulate the success of our tremendous Youth Scheme and we hope that this walk will show the country what Cambridge United is capable of with the right kind of support.

"No one outside our football club quite understands how we've done it but we have earned the respect of Premier League clubs for not just running a proper youth scheme with talented young players as a small club in the Football Conference, but in doing so against all the odds. In the last eight years since the youth scheme was formed we have received no funding, we have no compensation rights for any of our players and have to organise our own games programme.

"In these circumstances and as a small club it is a source of pride to us all that we can rub shoulders with the biggest clubs in this country at youth level. We are also proud of the way in which our players conduct themselves and develop as people who will play a full role in the community as they grow up into adults. It is why it is so important that our first team players are now excellent role models who buy into this culture. The whole football operation at Cambridge United shares the same philosophy.

"This is why we created the trust in 2011 - to deliver these core values into our community, at every conceivable level. In the last three years, the trust has ensured the development of our excellence pathway. But we want to do so much more. And now is the time to grab this opportunity."

Since 2011 the Community Trust has impacted on thousands of youngsters already. It reached almost 3,000 youngsters last year but it wants to affect 10,000 people through sport each and every year.

The Trust currently relies on donations to run its community programme. It has no pitches or centres of its own and the city of Cambridge is desperately short of public sports facilities.

Cambridge United's Chairman Dave Doggett, himself a fan for more than 50 years, said:

"Jez is the one walking the 676 miles but he will have the whole club behind him every step of the way. Everyone at Cambridge United from the directors, staff, players and supporters all share the same vision of our club being committed to contribute positively to our community and making a real difference to the lives of thousands of people every year.

"The trust was created to implement this vision and this project will enable the club to generate the funds necessary to really grow our outreach across every section of our community.

"Mission676 will demonstrate what the club is capable of achieving with the right support behind us."

Cambridge United's landlord, international property group Grosvenor, is working in partnership with the club and Community Trust to develop plans to build a Sporting Village and Community Stadium that would provide permanent indoor and outdoor facilities for the Trust.

Grosvenor has already sponsored #Mission676, joining shirt sponsors Mick George Skips and ERMS as well as Abbey Stadium sponsor R Costings.

Jez's marathon trek will start at Newcastle's St James' Park on Sunday, 27 April and finish at Norwich's Carrow Road on Friday, 23 May. Jez will be in London visiting five Premier League Grounds on Monday, May 19.

Follow Jez's exploits along the way at:

* Facebook - Like Mission 676
* Twitter - #Mission676
* Website - www.cambridge-united.co.uk

 

To sponsor the walk and donate to the Trust please go to http://www.justgiving.com/cuyct. You can also donate by texting CUFC26 £10 to 70070.

 


Source: Ben Lee

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