Sportschallenge, organised by Simmons & Company International, has raised over half a million pounds in six years, with the £80,000 from the 2018 charity night, being donated to four beneficiaries, Maggie’s, Children’s Aid (Scotland), Grampian MS Therapy Centre and Forget-Me-Not.
On Thursday evening, teams from businesses across Aberdeen and the North-east battled it out across five rounds of sports trivia as they competed in the Question of Sport-style quiz at the Aberdeen Exhibition and Conference Centre (AECC).
Now in its sixth year and hosted by former Rangers player and Scotland International Ally McCoist, alongside ex-Scotland Rugby Captain and sports commentator, Andy Nicol, the victorious team from Johnston Carmichael, picked up the Champions League award, with fellow players from Stronachs walking away with the Europa League title.
Alongside long-term beneficiaries, Maggie’s and Children’s Aid (Scotland), who have been connected with the event since it began in 2012, two smaller, local charities will also receive a share of the £80,000 raised on Thursday evening. Banchory-based charity, The Forget-Me-Not Club, which helps individuals and families of those with dementia, and the Grampian MS Therapy Centre in Dyce, who provide therapy services for those with Multiple Sclerosis (MS) and other similar conditions will both benefit from the significant donations.
Commenting on the success of the evening and the two additional beneficiaries for 2018, Nick Dalgarno, Managing Director at Simmons, said: “We set out with high ambitions to reach £500,000 this year and I am delighted that we have been able to achieve that in only 6 years.
“We have a strong partnership with Maggie’s and Children’s Aid (Scotland) and every year we are on the lookout for local charities that could also really benefit from being a Sportschallenge beneficiary. Both Forget-Me-Not and the Grampian MS Therapy Centre Are fantastic causes serving our local community and I am pleased to have been able to support them.”
Sportschallenge this year will have felt especially poignant for many in the room as two well-known Aberdeen personalities are currently receiving support from Forget-Me-Not.
During the evening, John Pope, trustee of Forget-Me-Not, spoke on behalf of the charity which has supported his father, former trustee, Martin Pope, who after being actively involved in the charity for a number of years, now receives treatment for dementia.
Similarly, Nick Dalgarno also mentioned ex-AFC player, Chic McLelland, who also suffers from dementia and has been using the centre for two years. Through the Active Forget-Me Not walking football sessions, the former Dons defender has regained his ability and passion to take part on the pitch.
The money raised through Sportschallenge will fund an additional 300 hours of free Active Forget-Me-Not sessions every month and continue to make huge differences to the lives of those affected.
Nick Dalgarno continued: “For all of our chosen charities, and there have been 12 so far, Sportschallenge provides so much more than just much needed funds to invest in new facilities, projects and existing services. It also provides an opportunity to increase their reach and raise awareness about the work that they do and the services they provide.”
Since the event was first launched in 2012, Sportschallenge has raised more than £500,000 for a wide and deserving range of local charities in the North-east region.