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Pirates treasure donation to walking football team’s funding goal

Players at a Harlow walking football team will stride out in new tracksuits after netting funding from UK Power Networks.

From Press releases - 29 May 2019 12:00 AM

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The power company, which delivers electricity to 8.3million customers across the East of England, London and the South East, has given Paringdon Pirates a much-needed £250 grant as part of its Team Sport Award scheme.

Employee Craig Messenger, 55, applied for the award on behalf of the team where his role to manage any health, safety and welfare issues which may arise, as well as being a player himself.

Craig, who works as a technician to help keep the lights on across Essex, said: “All members are aged 50 years of age upwards, with the youngest 54 and the eldest being 82 years old.

“The award received will enable us to purchase tracksuit trousers to go with the tops we have from a sponsor. We organise friendly tournaments as well as competing in an over-65s league, which contains sides from likes of Chelmsford and Harwich.

“Our tournament which we open up as community one for all ages had a team from Lea Valley area last year led by my UK Power Networks colleague Stuart Varney. We have another one coming up in June which aims to raise money for prostate cancer.

“The whole purpose of Walking Football is to get older people who enjoy playing football fit and active at an easier pace and it creates a very friendly social side.”

The Team Sport Award scheme encourages staff to volunteer in the community and is aimed at promoting healthy living, teamwork and development of sporting opportunities.

Hundreds of community and sports groups have benefited from grants since the scheme was set up. Last year £18,000 was donated to sporting groups connected to UK Power Networks staff.