COVID-19 has disrupted the fundraising of Saddleworth Rangers Under-14s for their tour of Spain.
With little more than six months until departure, the lads have raised only £9,000 towards their £24,000 target.
Now that lockdown restrictions have eased, the boys have begun fundraising in earnest with various events planned.
But team manager Vickie Lambert admitted fundraising is “saturated” with many other groups and organisations resuming after being unable to do since March 2020 when Covid-19 struck.
Now in a bid to give new momentum to the fundraising, Vickie has written to local businesses with a plea for sponsorship.
Rangers organise an annual overseas tour for their U14 team which will be U15 by the time they depart.
Unfortunately, last year’s U14s were unable to tour this year because of Covid, though they are hoping to organise a mini tour in the UK so the boys do not miss out.
The May 2022 tour is going ahead for the current U14s whose North West Counties League season is almost at an end. They have won promotion from division three and have a play-off game to come against Folly Lane Crusaders to determine whether they go up as champions.
“This is a once in a lifetime opportunity which, for our boys in particular, will have such a positive impact on their health and wellbeing after the last 12 months,” Vickie wrote to businesses.
It is planned the group will be based at Torrevieja at a sporting complex where Leeds Rhinos have previously stayed.
As it is a rugby union strongehold, they will be taking part in a union tournament and a hybrid match against a Spanish side – half will be played to league rules, half to union.
And to prepare for the switch to the 15-player game, Rangers have linked up with Burnage RUFC and the Saddleworth side will become Burnage U15s and play union this winter when the league season has finished.
Vickie said there are many ways businesses or individuals can help through kit sponsorship, offering raffle prizes or simply making a financial contribution.
They have already received support from Palletower, All4logistics, Caffe Grande Abaco, Weaver and Wilde and Marshall Errock Construction.
Anybody who can help can contact Vickie 07901 997079 or email@example.com
In the meantime, the lads have various fundraising events planned.
They begin on Saturday, November 27 with a 25-mile sponsored bike ride from Rangers’ Shaw Hall Bank Road ground to Manchester and back.
The lads have organised a children’s Christmas party for Saturday, December 11 at Uppermill Conservative Club with tickets £7.95, a rearranged concert with the Jager Maestros oompah band for February 5 in the clubhouse with tickets £20 including supper with tickets available through Eventbrite, comedy night at the Royal George on March 19 and Mother’s Day afternoon tea at the club on March 27.