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11 December 2014

The Supporters Club launches #MyExtraTime volunteering campaign

BT Sport's The Supporters Club has launched its #MyExtraTime volunteering campaign to make a difference for young people this Christmas, backed by a host of BT Sport stars.

Rio Ferdinand

Supported by Robin Van Persie, Rio Ferdinand and Graeme Swann, The Supporters Club is inviting people to pledge their time this Christmas and beyond to charities and sports clubs. People can try something new by pledging their extra time to sports volunteering opportunities in their local area via www.btsport.com/myextratime. As well as inviting people across the UK to get involved, BT is also encouraging its employees to use one of their three working days a year for volunteering to help young people through sport.

Even a little time can make a big difference

To inspire people to get involved, The Supporters Club, BT Sport’s initiative which aims to build a better world by bringing people together through sport, is organising a number of events where Swann and Ferdinand, plus BT Sport pundits Ben Kay and Gary McAllister will visit projects run by organisations that The Supporters Club has backed. BT Sport viewers will be able to see how Ferdinand and Swann spent their time, with programming airing on BT Sport in December, while a series of shorts around all of the stars’ efforts will aim to inspire the public to get involved.

Graeme Swann

Each will deliver their own time pledge of volunteering by trying out a new sport. Ferdinand will get involved in a rugby session in Tooting and Swann will work an afternoon in a boxing gym in Bristol. The Supporters Club will be showing that any amount of time from just 15 minutes up to a whole weekend can make a real difference to many of the charities that it supports.

People who join in will be encouraged to share their pledges on their own social networks by using #MyExtraTime.

Opportunity, self-belief and support

During the campaign BT Sport ambassadors Ferdinand and Swann will be amongst a group of sporting personalities pledging their time and visiting projects run by organisations that The Supporters Club has backed. Current QPR and former Manchester United defender Ferdinand will try his hand at rugby during a visit to a Dallaglio Foundation project in Tooting which aims to provide marginalised young people with opportunity, self-belief and support.

Ferdinand said: “It’s a privilege to be able to pledge my time and meet the kids who are benefitting first-hand from the support provided by The Supporters Club and the Dallaglio Foundation. Grassroots sport and many charities across the country are dependent on people in the local community giving up their time to help others. I know I would have struggled to make it as a professional footballer without the time given up by my coaches and managers when I started playing competitive football as a kid. I urge everyone to try something new by giving just a small amount of time to help charities that support young people.”

Former England off-spinner Swann will travel to Empire Fighting Chance in Bristol to take part in a boxing engagement programme which received funding through another partner of The Supporters Club, the community sports initiative Sported.

Additionally, BT Sport pundits Kay and McAllister will be respectively donating their time at a Riding for the Disabled Association facility in South Yorkshire and a StreetGames centre in Glasgow during the campaign – both organisations have received a grant from The Supporters Club.

Swann said: “The Supporters Club has proved it is a unique force for good in the UK and with just a little bit of extra time from people this Christmas, projects around the country can do so much more. It doesn’t take any money or indeed very much time. Get involved, spend time with a local charity and do what you can. We all have skills that can help local projects and charities. If I, as a former cricketer, can help budding boxers, then anything is possible.”

A unique force for good

Ben Kay

Pete Oliver, managing director of Commercial, Marketing and Digital, BT Consumer, said: “The Supporters Club has proved to be a unique force for good, with BT Sport customers raising millions of pounds to help young people in the UK and overseas through sport. This Christmas we are highlighting the impact that people can have by giving their time to good causes. By committing your time to help out in your local area we can all make a big difference to the lives of disadvantaged young people.”

The Supporters Club has raised over £3 million from BT Sport customers and BT. This has so far been used to fund 24 sport-inspired community projects – 14 in the UK and 10 overseas, with over 91,000 people now signed up to the initiative.

You can find our more and pledge your time at www.btsport.com/myextratime.