Fundraising in perfect synchronization for Cash for Kids challenge!

A Sheffield ice skating club has pulled out all the stops to finish in the top three fundraisers in the inaugural Hallam FM Charity Sports Challenge.


The challenge, lasting just under five weeks in total, saw nine teams battling to raise as much as possible for Hallam FM’s Cash for Kids charity, supported by the Sheffield & Hallamshire County FA and SIV, Sheffield’s health and wellbeing charity.


Members of the Sheffield Synchronized Skating Academy, based at IceSheffield, were delighted to discover the final result at a ceremony on Friday 20th July at the English Institute of Sport – where they were also presented with a cheque for more than £14,000.


The Academy’s founder and coach Amanda Hembrow-Jones commented:

“From the first day we found out we’d been accepted for the challenge, the Academy’s skaters, parents and supporters went into overdrive. The team quickly planned out some of the fundraising activities we could kick-start at once, with plenty more added as the challenge unfolded.


“Our huge raffle was an enormous success, with 88 prizes donated by generous sponsors and local companies. We organised a four-hour ‘Jamathon’, a Bingo and Pie evening, a canal cruise with afternoon tea and attended Summer festivals and galas all over the region with hundreds of teddy bears donated for our Teddy Tombolas.


“We bag-packed at Morrisons, organised World Cup sweepstakes, held a ‘Battle of the Football Shirts’ between the Owls and the Blades, collected unwanted clothing and tin cans – and one brave man even undertook a full body wax! The skaters themselves held raffles, bake sales and non-uniform days at their schools, and everyone got involved.


“With such a small club - only 48 members – we didn’t expect to finish in the top half of fundraisers, let alone the top three! It just goes to show how important teamwork is; I feel we really have punched well above our weight to raise the amount we have. Our congratulations go to the City of Sheffield Diving Club and Dearne & District Junior Football Club, who came in first and second place respectively, as well as to all the other teams involved – we raised a total of £85k between us!


“We were also delighted to win the trophy and bonus prize for the best social media campaign. We had a Facebook page before the challenge began, and managed to increase our followers by 34% during the period. In order to maximise our campaign exposure, we also started our Twitter (@SheffSynchro) and Instagram (@sheffield_synchro_gb) accounts, resulting in our posts gaining over 54,000 impressions on Twitter alone!”


“The money we raised will be spent on kit, equipment, facilities and subsidising costs to help increase participation in synchronized skating; it can be an expensive sport, and we’d love to attract new members from a wide range of backgrounds to the Academy here in Sheffield.”

Amanda concluded:

I’ve been totally overwhelmed by the way everyone has worked together to create such a fantastic result and raise so much money. We have a saying in synchronized skating, and I feel it’s never been more apt than it has been over the last few weeks:


“As individuals we are strong. As a team, we are unstoppable!”


The Sheffield Synchronized Skating Academy welcomes skaters of all ages and abilities from Skate UK Level 8 upwards. Learn to Synchro sessions are held on Wednesdays from 4:00pm at the IceSheffield rink.


The Academy promotes teamwork, develops confidence and instills the discipline of working hard to achieve a goal through training and competing together all over the UK and overseas. The 2018/19 season commences in November and you can follow the teams’ progress through the Academy’s social media channels.

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