For 16 days more than 700 members of the grassroots football community connected in the virtual CFA Race to Wembley!
For 16 days in February more than 700 members of the grassroots football community in Cumberland connected and got active in the virtual CFA Race to Wembley!
54 teams signed up to the virtual challenge to walk, run or cycle to Wembley Stadium from Cumberland FA’s HQ in Cockermouth – a distance of 314 miles!
With five different challenges, all of which adhered to government guidance, the virtual CFA Race to Wembley meant Under 7s to adults could take part and test themselves at a level appropriate to their age. There was also an individual virtual cycling challenge for adults.
The aim of the challenge was to get the grassroots football community active and connected during lockdown with the positivity generated supporting everyone involved. Teams who reached Wembley will receive a Nike Match Ball as well as get the chance to win a number of prizes provided by our grassroots delivery partners.
During the 16 days, participants could take part in the #ThemeDays (these included random football equipment, wildlife, the goal celebration, Back to Front day and Favourite Football item) with additional prizes for submitted photos. The winners of the random draw received a football or a water bottle / coffee cup.
Jackie from Gillford Park JFC said “There’s lots of positives to the challenge especially during half term. The parents are enjoying the team interaction, its lovely seeing the players getting out and about and active and everyone can get involved in the challenge in their bubbles.”
During the Challenge, the Cumberland FA staff team gave progress updates on their own activities as well as describing how the challenge has helped them to get through the lockdown period showing the mental as well as physical benefits of the challenge!
In total, over the 16 days, 730 participants in 54 teams and 6 individual cyclists travelled 29,133.19 miles. Many teams ‘arrived’ at Wembley and then continued during the Challenge window to ‘return’ home to stay active and connected.
A few teams also used the challenge as an opportunity to raise much needed funds for local charities.
Dylan from adult team FC Cosmos commented “It’s been a good excuse to get people out and the match ball was a nice incentive.”
It’s always nice to leave Wembley with the trophy, so on Sunday 28 February, the last day of the Challenge many participants made their own FA Cup to lift as the virtual CFA Race to Wembley ended!
The final day also saw special congratulatory messages from Manchester City and England International, Demi Stokes and a message from Wembley itself from the Grounds Manager, Karl Standley.
As part of the challenge, an activity pack was also sent to the teams to tap into the creativity of the participants and give ‘rainy day’ activities.
When walking out at Wembley it’s always nice to have a smart looking kit so we asked participants to design their own kit. Our partner Kitlocker.com have agreed to #PowerUp some kit designs and will be printing the winning designs on a shirt for the winner! We will be announcing the winners of this shortly!
Cumberland FA would like to thank everyone who took part in the Challenge. The virtual CFA Race to Wembley brought the football community together at a time when it feels like we are so far apart. Now with the return to football on the horizon, Cumberland FA look forward to seeing everyone back on the pitch!
The ‘Getting to Wembley’ prize draw will be made the week beginning 15 March and include:
The use of the CFA Veo Camera for a match
MH Goals Garden Goal
Koolpak UK First Aid Kit
1 of 5 Wembley Tours
Cumberland FA would also like to thank The Football Associations, Wembley Stadium and our partners for their continued support.
"As a team we wanted to come up with something that allowed us to connect with member clubs" said Cumberland FA, Chief Executive, Ben Snowdon. ‘I think the challenge and the ultimate target of reaching Wembley gave everyone who took part a shared goal and allowed us all to virtually feel part of a larger group or collective, something that we have all been missing throughout this latest lockdown.’
‘There were some amazing personal and team totals amassed, but the real success in this was in seeing the smiles on the photos sent in and the interaction upon social media throughout the 16 days, and that was all thanks to all the amazing people who took part from the grassroots game.’
With the news that organised outdoor team sports, including football, can hopefully return from the 29th March, those who took part have also made a great start to getting themselves ready to play again.”