Students on the ball to help cancer charity

Gemma Tron, Sean Lavendar and David Ng with the rest of the team.
Gemma Tron, Sean Lavendar and David Ng with the rest of the team.
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A CARING student organised a charity football tournament to raise cash for a cancer charity.

Sean Lavendar, who is in the second year of a sports management degree at the University of Sunderland, staged a schools’ five-a-side competition to boost funds for Cancer Research UK.

Nine fellow students helped Sean organise the tournament and more than 75 Year 7 and 8 pupils from Southmoor, Monkwearmouth, Farringdon and Sandhill schools took part.

The schools competed against each other in the university’s award-winning sports and leisure facility, CitySpace, in Chester Road.

Sean, of Grangetown, said: “We wanted to do something different and show off the excellent facilities that the university has, as well as raise money for a great cause. Hopefully, it also gave the school pupils visiting us a taste for university life.”

The 20-year-old, who played for Hartlepool United’s Under-16s and also had trials for England’s Under-16s squad, said: “I come from a sporting background and every child loves football so it was a no-brainer to hold a five-a-side competition.

“Organising this event has been part of our degree course and we have sorted everything out ourselves.

“The only help we received was from CitySpace who kindly gave us the use of their facilities.”

All the students and staff who entered the tournament were asked to donate £2 towards Cancer Research UK, and youngsters also asked family and friends to sponsor them.

Sean said: “We felt that Cancer Research UK was the most logical choice. Most people are affected by cancer at some point throughout their lives, whether it is directly or indirectly, so to be able to support such a good cause was an added benefit.”