Thursday, 14 March 2013

A whole new ball game

Unlike Match of the Day, Match for a Day is not a TV show. If it were, Jack Bauer would be all over it, as it involves a whopping 24 hours of greatness. Set up by Ambassadors in Sport (AIS), the footballing event starts at 10am on June 7 and ends at precisely the same time on June 8.

On the day, an AIS team will play against a new fresh team every hour at The London Soccerdome, a dedicated indoor football arena. Event sponsor State Street Bank has already agreed to put in a team, as have The Salvation Army Stratford and Frinton Free Church Essex.

Special guests at the event will include former Portsmouth FC defender Linvoy Primus, who will share his personal story and information about his latest project ( as well as doing some serious talking on the pitch.

“When I was told about Match for the Day, I thought to myself, ‘That sounds cool and challenging’, and I wanted to hear more,” Linvoy tells Sorted.

“Once I heard the details, I expressed a desire to take part. The idea of playing football for 24 hours sounds crazy, but what a way to raise money for my ministry and charity.

“I've also asked a couple of ex-pros if they want to get involved – Dave Waterman, formerly of Portsmouth FC, and Trevor Benjamin, formerly of Leicester FC – and they have agreed to take part for their own personal charities.

“Since I retired from football, I'm always looking for new physical and unique challenges, and this is up there.” 

The two AIS teams will play in two-hour shifts, having just enough time to rest before they get back on the pitch. Teams will comprise eight players on half a full-sized AstroTurf pitch.

“At AIS our dreams are to see the lives of marginalised and vulnerable individuals and communities changed positively for good through football,” says organiser Stephen Read.

“The beautiful game provides a way of reaching out to people from all sorts of backgrounds in a non-threatening way. This builds a trusting environment where life-changing decisions can be made. We have sought to pioneer and develop exciting grassroots educational initiatives, focused around football, to transform people’s lives.

“These programmes include football club development, academies, soccer schools, tournaments, and work in prisons and schools as we seek to help young people, youth offenders, adults, the homeless and the marginalised.”

If you’d like to get involved, cost per team ranges from £150 per team to £350 (depending on the time slot you choose), and this includes post-match refreshments. If you want to go a step further (and avoid the hard graft) you could become a corporate sponsor. Packages range from kit sponsorship (£500) through to full event and naming rights (£4,000).

Visit or contact Stephen Read ( for more information.

Read more from Joy in the next issue of Christian men's magazine Sorted.

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