On the weekend of February 4th/5th Ashby Netball Club gained a world record and raised £19,000 for Kids Village & kickstarting our capital appeal in the process…
Here is their story:
The story of the Ashby Netball Club’s World Record attempt originated with an initial idea in August 2022, following the birth of one of the club member’s daughters, who was born with a potentially life-threatening health condition. Evelyn had to spend the first three weeks of her life in neonatal intensive care, and she underwent major surgery at 3 months old.
The family have spent a significant amount of time in the children’s hospital in the last two years and have been surrounded by families going through some of the most horrendous times of their lives. Within Ashby Netball Club, two other families going through similar heart-breaking experiences with seriously poorly children, one of which battled cancer and one had open heart surgery at 6 months old. The idea to help was formed from these touching stories and Ashby Netball Club stepped up to challenge!
The club selected a charity which best suited their experiences, in The Kids Village, who give hope to families through respite holidays.
By September, the project plans were well underway as the team discussed how to raise money for the charity, and an idea formed, to attempt to break a World Record! Reviewing all of the relevant options within the Guinness World Records, the team selected ‘how many goals could be scored in 24 hours’ and the hard work began. By Christmas the club had populated their list of participants and immediately after the New Year training had started, the intensity of training significantly increased right up to the event date. At the end of last year there was already £5,000 in the fund and the challenge was gearing up! The organising committee created a timeline and project plan, splitting the roles and tasks focused on each area, including the administration, verification and of course the whole point, the fundraising.
The club held numerous events before the big weekend of the record attempt to raise additional funds, including a sold-out quiz night and multiple bake sales, and along with significant corporate sponsorship, the total in the charity pot soon doubled to £10,000.
At the point of reaching the weekend of the 4th and 5th of February, with the 24 hour netball marathon upon them, the club had £15,000 in the fundraising pot and with 20 plus prepared and trained participants ready to shoot! The wider group of participants, 52 in total, had been allocated various roles, obviously including shooting, but also ball feeding, ball retrieving, counting, administrating etc… Every person involved was vital to the challenge and every person fully committed to the project. 21 independent witnesses and officials were recruited as the organising team planned the execution of this challenge to perfection.
The marathon commenced at 12 pm on Saturday 4th February, the hooter sounded, and the shooting started! A crowd of spectators had gathered to watch the start, and the club realised the impact and challenge that stood ahead of them, but without wasting a single second and with adrenaline high and the talent and commitment of the shooters, they started strong. 1 hour in, and the count showed that the number of goals scored in that first hour had exceeded a different world record of the number of goals scored by a team in an hour by 185 goals, what an amazing start!
The team settled in and the planning really paid off, the transitions were seamless, the support was fantastic and everyone played their part. 12 hours in, as the clock approached midnight, the team hit the current world record and the elation of the participants at this point spoke volumes, knowing that they had not only already beaten the current world record, but they were on track to completely smash it at the half way point!
By the morning, with tired arms and sleepy heads the challenged continued and the crowds gathered for the final push. Loughborough Lightning players came to support the club and the BBC had repeatedly broadcasted the club’s endeavours so the amount of support the team received was incredible, with over 200 friends and family through the doors over the period.
As the clock approached 12 pm on Sunday 5th February, the crowds counted down the last 10 seconds of the challenge and the tears started to flow, scenes of elation and exhaustion in equal measures and at that point, just under £19,000 had been raised for an incredible charity, plus a new World Record of 28,745 goals, doubling the previous record!
The club have vowed to reach £20,000 in their fundraising and every single member of the team showed that teamwork really does make the dream work, with records broken, targets achieved, and a phenomenal amount of team spirit shown! Inspired by the bravery of a little girl and executed flawlessly, this group of teammates have really achieved something that they’re extremely proud of.
We at Kids Village are so grateful that this incredible team of people chose to fundraise for us and are continually inspired by their amazing achievements. The impact of this challenge and funds raised will last long beyond the 24hour marathon and their efforts have kickstarted a big fundraising year for Kids Village!