Family fun day to help Sunderland boy with serious illness

William Calvert with his mum Caroline.
William Calvert with his mum Caroline.

Fun will be the aim of the game this weekend when a Wearside cricket team pairs up with a charity to help out a youngster battling serious illness.

Hylton Colliery Cricket Club and I’m in for Will have joined forces to host the Hylton Community Sports Day at the Billy Hardy Sports Complex on Sunday.

The Walk A Mile event kicks off the day at 12pm, with a host of other activities including a cricket tournament featuring ex-West Indian international Marlon Black and fellow Trinidad and Tobagan Marlon Barclay.

There will also be face painting, tombola, hit the stump, woodwork challenge, fairground rides, food and drink and more.

The I’m In For Will charity was set up by parents Rob and Caroline Calvert, who were devastated when son William was diagnosed with Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD), an incurable muscle-wasting disease.

The condition means Will, who attends Castletown Primary, may not live long enough to see his 30th birthday.

His parents, from Craigshaw Square in Hylton Castle, originally set themselves a challenge of raising £5,000 to create a charity which will raise funds to support research into the condition, and fund specialist equipment for the youngster.

However, in less than a year they smashed their target, raising more than treble that for the Muscular Dystrophy Duchenne Research Breakthrough Fund.

Caroline said: “When you see people going out their way and using their own time to organise fundraising events, it really is so overwhelming.

“The condition William has is such a horrible disease which can happen to anyone.”

Hylton CCC chairman Tom Foster: “I’m In For Will is the club’s chosen charity, and we have taken part in a number of events in the past such as the Boxing Day Dip to help raise funds.

“When the charity decided to hold the sports day we were delighted to be able to help out in any way we could.

“This is a very worthy cause and I’m delighted that the club is involved, including a number of our players taking part.

“It is a credit to them that they have set up this charity, and as a club which prides itself on our community links we are privileged to be able to play a part in helping.”

Donations can be made via the JustGiving page at https://campaign.justgiving.com/charity/muscular-dystrophy/iminforwill.