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Coalville football tournament will run again in 2023 to raise funds for Diabetes UK

The creator of a football tournament which has raised £1,500 for Diabetes UK has confirmed he will run the tournament again for the next two years.

Andrew Atkins, 41, from Coalville in Leicester, set up the CRC Memorial 6-a-Side Football Tournament in 2021 in memory of his friend Craig, who had type 1 diabetes, and raised around £1,000.

In 2022, Andrew hosted the event again at Hermitage Fishing Lake & Recreation Ground and donations reached £1,500. He now plans to continue the tournament this year and in 2024. He is also doing a virtual run to raise money and awareness of diabetes to support our charity.

Andrew and Craig had known each other since childhood and were good friends, having played football together until the Covid-19 pandemic. 

Andrew said: "I wanted to do something to honour Craig’s life. We spoke during the pandemic and wanted to get together to play football when restrictions lifted, but sadly he passed away in June 2021 suddenly before that happened, so I decided to create this fundraiser.

"We are hoping to go bigger and make the 2024 event super special with more food, drink and music, as it would have been Craig’s 40th birthday."

In 2022, the tournament attracted 16 teams and an audience of 200 people. Andrew publicised it on Facebook and through word of mouth.

“I grew up knowing about Craig’s type 1 diabetes. My wife has prediabetes and this a condition that affects a lot of people, so I felt very strongly I wanted to create a community event to get people together and increase awareness of diabetes,” Andrew added.

He decided to also take on a personal challenge for Diabetes UK and do a virtual run of 874 miles (Land’s End to John O’Groats) with a target to raise £500.

Charlotte Wright, Diabetes UK Midlands and East Fundraising Manager, said: "Andrew has done an amazing job fundraising and raising awareness about diabetes in memory of his friend Craig, with the support of friends and family members.

"After two successful events already, I am excited to see what the next two years bring. The money raised continues to support research and services such as our helpline and type 1 events provided by Diabetes UK. I am grateful to have been a part of the journey."

Are you inspired by Andrew’s story? Contact us to discuss how you can raise funds and awareness of diabetes in the Midlands and East of England.

To support Andrew go to:

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