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Huntly football team's run and cycle effort nets £3170 for two charities in the town

By Pat Scott

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TWO Huntly charities have scored from a 24-hour marathon by members of Huntly Amateurs Football Club.

Networks of Wellbeing, NoW, and Friends of Jubilee Hospital both received £1585 to support their work at the team’s training session.

The club’s vice-chairman, Danny Carter, said that the amount raised far exceeded their expectations.

Both charities voiced their appreciation and Fiona Alderson, who collected the cash on behalf of NoW, said: “You have no idea what this money means to us, thank you so much.”

Over a 24-hour period, which began at 5pm on a Friday, players, coaches and committee members either cycled or ran non-stop – some setting off in the pitch black of the middle of the night in pouring rain.

They chose their own routes, some covering longer distances than others to clock up a total of 418.18km. Seven cyclists covered 139.75km and 25 runners totalled 278.43km.

On two wheels, the club’s sponsor, Alan Duffus of Sinclair’s Bakery led the field on 28km, completed after a long shift in the bakehouse.

And if the physical effort was not enough, he and his wife, Wilma, boosted the fundraising with a £1000 donation.

Neal Weir led the field among runners completing 14.18km – although on a treadmill in his house, Alan Shearer totted up 16.11km.

Danny thanked everyone for their generosity, but in particular Mr and Mrs Duffus.

He said: “When we started we weren’t sure what to expect andthought if we raised £500 that would be good – it was the tail end of the lockdown and a lot of folk had not been working.

“But once the giving page got going the total just climbed and climbed, then Alan donated the £1000 and that seemed to inspire folk to give too. Everyone was really generous and made it the success it has been.”

Fiona Murray, who represented Friends of Jubilee at the presentation, congratulated everyone who took part.

She said: “It was such a physical challenge, I am absolutely in awe of all of you.

“The money will be put to good use at Jubilee Hospital. We are in discussions with the management team on some fairly major projects which we will be able to help with in a big way.

“We have supported the medical and nursing teams in a variety of ways through the lockdown and we maintain the garden grounds which are looking really splendid.”

NoW has adapted to onlinemethods of working since March and has delivered 1300 activity sessions in yoga, aromatherapy, peer support and relaxation and a further 300 hours of counselling

Mrs Alderson said: “People say our online activities have helped reduce social isolation and this donation will be hugely beneficial as we plan to continue with our onlinesessions in the coming weeks.

“People from all over the UK have joined us online which has been amazing.

“One of our team is particularly skilled at helping people with their IT so we have people in their 80s joining in via Zoom.”

The team play in the Aberdeenshire Amateurs Football League, but the start of the season has been delayed.

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