HULL FC COBUS COMMUNICATIONS COMMUNITY CHAMPIONS
In their 150th anniversary year, Super League club Hull FC have launched a pioneering new scheme called FC Community Champions, working with local businesses and supporters to give under privileged young people the chance to experience live sport for the first time, earn qualifications and meet new people!
What it's all about...
As part of the club's 150th anniversary, the Black and Whites will be working with local businesses and supporters to raise money to sponsor a youngster from one of the city's less affluent areas so they can enjoy live sport and a day out at the KC Stadium on a weekly basis.
These young people come from some of the most challenge backgrounds out of anyone in the United Kingdom and simply aren't able to afford the same opportunities that many of us take for granted.
Fans and business will be able to pledge a contribution, from as little as £5, which will fund a 2016 season pass membership for a full season of rugby league at the KC Stadium plus all the great benefits below.
Some areas of Hull are ranked in the top 1% for deprivation in England with 44% of children in some areas living in poverty.
Many of the young people who will benefit from these scheme have never been to a live sports match before, so we will be turning dreams into reality!
What will each child get...
Working with the Hull FC Community Foundation, the club will provide a ticket to every game, pre match entertainment and game day activities, including the chance to meet Geoffrey the Giraffe from our friends at Toys "R" Us and take some free toys home!
As many of these young people and families don't have access to transport or regular meals, the club will be working with their travel partners to provide free transport to and from the matches for each young fan, as well as providing a meal before the game.
Better still, whilst attending matches, the youngsters, who will be aged between 5 and 19, will also have the chance to take part in accessible education sessions and earn awards and qualifications to aid their long-term development in a fun and friendly environment.
What you get for your pledge...
As a thank you for supporting such a fantastic initiative, we have a host of rewards in return for your generous pledge.
Fans will receive a thank you from the players or even an exclusive 'Be a Hero' mug, whilst businesses will also get some great brand awareness and VIP tickets to matches.
Check out our pledges for more details.
We are delighted that the initiative is being championed by well-known politician and former Home Secretary, Alan Johnson, who is the MP for Hull West and Hessle.
Mr Johnson is pictured at the launch alongside young children and teenagers from the Boulevard Academy and FC Learning Centre, both of which sit in his ward and reach out to young people from disadvantaged backgrounds.
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 opportunity that otherwise would pass them by.
"Many of us take sport for granted, both playing and watching, but the reality is many young people in Hull are not afforded that chance.
"I am extremely proud 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."
Our other ambassadors include former New Zealand international player and Super League Grand Final winner, Iafeta Paleaaesina, as well as Hull FC owner and former executive at Hull City, Leeds United and Derby County, Adam Pearson.
The initiative will also be in the memory of Bradley Parker, a former Hull FC and England youth player who died tragically in a car accident in November 2015 and is sorely missed by everyone at the club.
A keen fan from a young age, we believe Bradley would be immensely proud to be associated with such a great cause.
Be a Hero Day...
The scheme was formally launched at 'Be a Hero' Day, which include a breakfast event for local businesses, as well as the club's mascots dressing as superheroes and visiting local schools.
The club's media channels were a hive of activity encouraging people to take part, whilst members of the first-team squad manned the phones to ring fans and business to ask them to take part and pledge.
It was hoped £15,000 could be raised inside the opening day.
Special treat for the first 10 business pledges...
The first ten businesses to pledge their support as a Hull FC Community Champion will receive a personal visit from Hull FC star Feka Paleaaesina to thank them for their support, which can be used for publicity purposes if required.