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Join the CFA World Cup Challenge Team

Walk, run, cycle and swim over 50 days and help us get from Cumberland FA HQ to Qatar (virtually) for the World Cup Final!

The staff of Cumberland FA want to get out and get active with a collective purpose to keep healthy - and they’re calling on the football community to get involved too!

In 2021, Cumberland FA staff took part in Red January and found it a massive support, both mentally and physically, and from this the idea for the ‘Virtual CFA Race to Wembley’ was born, which saw more than 700 members of the grassroots football community take part in the 16-day challenge covering 314 miles per team (and in total more than 29,000 miles).

We know times are different now, but as a team we want to ‘be in it together’ and encourage each other to stay active for both our physical and mental health and work towards a common goal. 

The Challenge

Cumberland FA’s office, in the heart of the county, is 4,481 miles from the World Cup Final venue in Lusail, Qatar.

The challenge, due to start on Sunday 30 October for 50 days through to the World Cup Final (where we hope to be cheering on England!) on Sunday 18 December, is too much for the eight members of staff at Cumberland FA. So, we’re calling on the grassroots football community to join us and stay active.

We’re challenging clubs, teams, referees, volunteers and any individuals connected to grassroots football in the county to take part!

Help us reach our target of 4,481 miles in 50 days – whether you run, walk, cycle or swim: every mile counts. 

Enter on your own and join the squad or enter as a team to add the miles to the collective totals. It could be a great way to connect with your team-mates, fellow referees or coaches and perhaps have a little healthy competition as we move into the winter months.

Whether your grassroots football team wants to enter as a team or youth coaches / volunteers from a club enter as a team to encourage physical activity over the next 50 days; get involved! A team of referees supporting each other with fitness and connections – the challenge can bring us all together

Ben Snowdon, Cumberland FA CEO, commented: “The CFA Staff team really enjoyed the ‘Virtual Race to Wembley’ and have since been looking for another activity challenge that could bring us together and also support our well-being, both physically and mentally.

As a football fan and more specifically an England fan, The World Cup has always been special and something I look forward to watching. This comes from my earliest memories of being allowed to stay up to watch the England games at Mexico 86, watching Gazza at Italia 90 and has continued right through to the team's run to the semi-final at the last tournament in Russia. The competition has a unique ability to unite us as a nation and therefore presented us with an opportunity to set ourselves another challenge based around the tournament. 

To say that this World Cup in Qatar has not been met with universal approval would be an understatement, and we recognise and understand the controversy, concerns and criticism of the decision to award the tournament in the first place. 

Whilst only a symbolic gesture, it felt right that we recognise these issues and have therefore decided to support Amnesty International and raise awareness of their work to establish a comprehensive remediation programme and compensation scheme for all labour abuses related to hosting the tournament, as well as their work within the UK dealing with our own human rights challenges.”

Cumberland FA will be raising funds and awareness for Amnesty International while taking part in the challenge – you can donate using our Just Giving page below: 

We will have some ‘theme days’ and spot prizes for participants throughout the challenge.

We’re delighted that our partners will also getting behind the challenge with some goodies from Koolpak UK, the use of the CFA Veo Camera plus more. 

Dates of Challenge: 30 October - 18 December 2022

Help us complete 4,481 miles in 50 days.

Individuals / Referees

If you would like to be part of our World Cup Challenge Team, sign up as an individual – log your activity miles (walk, run, cycle or swim) during the period.


If you want to bring a team of individuals together to work towards the common goal. 

This can include teams of players, referees, coaches, club/league officials, spectators and/or parents.

The Team Leader will collate the team’s miles (whether done individually or collectively) and log them with us to add to the total. Register as a TEAM and let us know who’s in your squad!


With a quick turnaround for the start of the challenge, we will get more information out next week to log miles – but the main thing is to start your journey and join us as we head to the World Cup!

If you have any queries regarding the CFA World Cup Challenge, please contact us on or call Helen Aitchison, Cumberland FA’s Football Development Officer on 01900 511800.

Safeguarding Considerations  

Children Under the age of 15 must, and children under the age of 18 should, be accompanied by an adult on all activity that takes part away from the home.  


You should not take part if against a doctor's advice or carrying injury etc.  

You must monitor yourselves and children so if you or your child seems exhausted, injured, or unable to recover fully from workouts, you/they may be training too hard.  

As well as recovery time, adequate nutrition and hydration are also important  

Specific Recommendations for Adults  


Specific Recommendations for U18s  


We hope you will get involved and stay active and connected during this challenge. Don't forget to tag us on Social Media @CumberlandFA on Twitter and Instagram and Cumberland FA on Facebook. Keep us updated with your progress and look out for the 'Spot Prizes' and ‘Theme Days’ during the challenge!