Big Freeze at the C 2020

Isaac Kirby | 29.06.20

With Covid-19 all but ending the 2020 AFL London season, the Wandsworth Demons weren't going to let the virus stop fundraising for the club's fifth annual "Big Freeze at the C" fighting Motor Neurone Disease. And while the format of this year's fundraiser would change, it has only shown that the passion Demons members have for creating awareness and raising funds for MND is near unparalleled.

Facing the challenges brought about by the virus, and ambiguous social distancing rules from the Home Office, the club's event team - Renee Frizzell, Phoebe Smith, Priscilla Lodge and Xavier Holland - developed a concept that would ensure the club's "Big Freeze at the C" campaign would still be a resounding success.

With the disease having a number of personal connections to the club members - Ray "Bubba" Wright’s uncle sadly lost his short battle with MND in 2012, and Jess Huxtable's dad was diagnosed with the disease last year - organisers couldn’t cancel the event knowing the afflictions of the disease are still felt every day.

Launching on June 8th, in line with the official Big Freeze 6 broadcast in Australia, the Demons' campaign, now the only internationally recognised Big Freeze fundraiser, would focus on a month-long physical activity challenge around a virtual Clapham Common - the club home ground. Members were encouraged to record their run, ride or walk around a virtual "C" and log them through the club’s dedicated Strava group - with each participant paying a registration fee to join the cause.

Organisers challenged members to set personal goals for the campaign, aligning them with fundraising targets for each lap completed - with the drive culminating with the "Big Freeze at the C (from home)" event on the July 11th.

While creating awareness around the disease and raising funds for charity partner FightMND, the event also worked to promote the benefits of physical activity during lockdown. With quarantine seeing the club already trial several fitness-based challenges, it proved another opportunity for members to improve positive mental health in a period in which many of the club's members had returned home.

Aside from the virtual "C" campaign, fundraising has also seen the club host virtual trivia nights, a bake sale, the sale of official FightMND merchandise and an incredible 24-hour walk on the Common by Danny Radis and Xavier Holland, in which they covered an astonishing 107km.

Touching on the importance of the fundraiser, and the Demons being a ‘home away from home’, club president Holland said "We're already missing our members who've left for Australia, and a lot of us are struggling without the social connections that come from the club. Getting out there and keeping active is one way we knew could boost our health and support the MND cause".

With just under two weeks until the "Big Freeze at the C (from home)", fundraising efforts for 2020 have already seen an excess of £6,000 raised directly for the Demons' charity partner FightMND - despite virus interruptions and half a club returning home - going towards research to ultimately find a cure for Motor Neurone Disease.

To join the Wandsworth Demons in support of the cause, you can donate or enter their raffle at this link: Just Giving - Wandsworth Demons
AUD Donations: FightMND Wandsworth Demons
Or join the virtual "C" challenge and purchase official FightMND merchandise here: Big Freeze at the C 2020

For more information on the Wandsworth Demons, check out their other Big Freeze fundraising events on their official Facebook page: The Wandsworth Demons

All proceeds go to FightMND Australia

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