Cobus Communications Community Champions
In 2015, Hull FC launched a pioneering scheme called Community Champions, working with local businesses and supporters to give under-privileged young people the chance to experience live sport for the first time, earn qualifications and meet new people!
What it’s all about…
As part of the club’s 150th anniversary, the Black and Whites will be working with local businesses and supporters to raise money to sponsor a youngster from one of the city’s less affluent areas so they can enjoy live sport and a day out at the KC Stadium on a weekly basis.
These young people come from some of the most challenge backgrounds out of anyone in the United Kingdom and simply aren’t able to afford the same opportunities that many of us take for granted.
Fans and business will be able to pledge a contribution, from as little as £5, which will fund a 2016 season pass membership for a full season of rugby league at the KC Stadium plus all the great benefits below.
Some areas of Hull are ranked in the top 1% for deprivation in England with 44% of children in some areas living in poverty.
Many of the young people who will benefit from these scheme have never been to a live sports match before, so we will be turning dreams into reality!
What will each child get…
Working with the Hull FC Community Foundation, the club will provide a ticket to every game, pre match entertainment and game day activities, including the chance to meet Geoffrey the Giraffe from our friends at Toys “R” Us and take some free toys home!
As many of these young people and families don’t have access to transport or regular meals, the club will be working with their travel partners to provide free transport to and from the matches for each young fan, as well as providing a meal before the game.
Better still, whilst attending matches, the youngsters, who will be aged between 5 and 19, will also have the chance to take part in accessible education sessions and earn awards and qualifications to aid their long-term development in a fun and friendly environment.
“This is a fantastic gesture from Hull FC and a worthwhile campaign that will allow us all to become Community Champions and reach out to young people in our region to give them opportunity that otherwise would pass them by.”Alan Johnson MP, Hull FC Foundation Trustee
The initiative is being championed by well-known politician and former Home Secretary, Alan Johnson, who is the MP for Hull West and Hessle.
Mr Johnson is pictured at the launch alongside young children and teenagers from the Boulevard Academy and FC Learning Centre, both of which sit in his ward and reach out to young people from disadvantaged backgrounds.
He said: “This is a fantastic gesture from Hull FC and a worthwhile campaign that will allow us all to become Community Champions and reach out to young people in our region to give them opportunity that otherwise would pass them by.
“Many of us take sport for granted, both playing and watching, but the reality is many young people in Hull are not afforded that chance.
“I am extremely proud to be an ambassador for this project which will make a difference to the lives of many young people and I’m sure will leave a legacy in terms of promoting fans and players of the future and healthy and happy lives.”
Our other ambassadors include former New Zealand international player and Super League Grand Final winner, Iafeta Paleaaesina, as well as Hull FC owner and former executive at Hull City, Leeds United and Derby County, Adam Pearson.
The initiative will also be in the memory of Bradley Parker, a former Hull FC and England youth player who died tragically in a car accident in November 2015 and is sorely missed by everyone at the club.
A keen fan from a young age, we believe Bradley would be immensely proud to be associated with such a great cause.
Roll of Honour
The following list highlights all the businesses and supporters who made pledges to become an FC Community Champion, helping us help young people from our region. We would like to thank them all for their support.
W Campbell & Son
Wayne Johnson – Make a difference Charity
Graham and Trish Yeomans
Alan and Carol Higgins
The Street Family
Michael Kevin Rowland
Cobus Communications are the title sponsors of the Community Champions.
Cobus, who provide business communications, telecoms, IT and networking services to businesses in the Hull & East Yorkshire area, have committed to sponsor the programme for two years.
Hull FC Partnerships Manager, Ash Foster said: “The Community Champions programme is a real game changer. It has the power to enhance and positively affect the lives of young people in our area.
“Cobus Communications recognise the impact this programme could have and they have pledged their significant support to this programme. We are extremely grateful for the support from Cobus Communications, a local company that strongly believes in helping local people.
“Cobus Communications’ ethos of community support is a perfect match for the Community Champions programme and we jointly aim to create a lasting legacy. This is evident in the two year commitment from Cobus.”
Mike Smith, Managing director of Cobus Communications, told hullfc.com: “After working with Hull FC for a number of years we have seen our chosen direction change from direct sponsorship to being more focused on our ever expanding CSR (corporate social responsibility) and community involvement, we decided that we wanted to invest more into the local community to make a real difference in these youngsters lives at community level.”