Sporting students at Sheffield Hallam University have donated hundreds of items to local foodbanks and run thousands of miles in aid of charity to do their bit to help those most in need during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Members of Sheffield Hallam Students’ Union sports teams have run a variety of initiatives since March aimed at supporting regional and national charities and organisations.
The women’s lacrosse team focused its charitable activities around improving the lives of women by donating 54 bras to Oxfam and raising £890 for local domestic abuse charity IDAS by collectively running more than 2,800km during lockdown.
The club’s officers also undertook mental health training to create a positive, inclusive, and supportive environment for its members.
All the players also wore pink to training sessions during Breast Cancer Awareness Week in October.
Megan John, chair of the lacrosse team and an education, psychology and counselling student said: “Our lacrosse team is so supportive and has helped boost the mood of our members throughout the pandemic. We are delighted to channel this positivity into raising awareness of important issues such as breast cancer and mental health issues as well as fundraise for local charities.”
The recent campaign for free school meals by footballer Marcus Rashford inspired Steph Whieldon and Meg Dickson from the women’s rugby team to organise a food bank drive in aid of the S2 Foodbank based in the Manor area of Sheffield.
By using the team’s social media accounts to gain interest in the drive and garner support from other student sports clubs, both at Sheffield Hallam and the University of Sheffield, the team managed to gather 978 donations of food and toiletry items, which they delivered to the foodbank.
Meg Dickson, charity and wellbeing officer for the women’s rugby team and a paramedic science student said: "We are not just a team for sport and socialising, but a team for the community. Together we can make a difference.”
Other fundraising activities included:
• Sheffield Hallam Cricket Club supported Breast Cancer Awareness Week by fundraising over October, including a virtual charity quiz night which raised £100.
• The netball team stayed up for 24 hours to raise money and awareness of homelessness in young people and raised £215.
• Hallam Cheer & Dance society raised £174 for breast cancer awareness charity Coppafeel with bake sales and a ‘wear pink to training’ day.
Hannah Prestwich Wellbeing, Sport & Physical Activity Officer at Sheffield Hallam Students’ Union said: “Since the start of term, Team Sport Hallam club committees have been doing some fabulous work in raising awareness and money for many invaluable charities and community needs from breast cancer awareness, homelessness in young people to food poverty amongst others.
“Team Sport Hallam’s sport clubs are an asset to Sheffield Hallam University, putting others first and ensuring the most in need are looked after.”
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