Supporters celebrate the inspiring role of Right To Play's coaches at the Big Red Ball 2016
Supporters and stars from the world of sport came together for a special evening at Right To Play UK’s fifth Big Red Ball last night. Hosted by Mark Durden-Smith at the impressive Roundhouse in London, guests celebrated the inspiring impact Right To Play’s volunteer coaches have on the lives of the children in our programmes. Over £400,000 was raised for our life-changing work, enough to provide weekly sport and play activities to over 13,000 children for a year.
The centrepiece of the night was the immersive Secret Course. ‘Served’ shortly after the main course, each guest listened on a personal headset to the story of a Right To Play coach from Pakistan, Burundi or Lebanon. Their powerful stories demonstrated the dedication and commitment of our coaches, many of whom regularly overcome personal adversity and go on to educate the next generation through play-based learning.
A host of Right To Play’s athlete supporters were in attendance to show their support, including:
World Cup winner and former England rugby star - and newest Right To Play ambassador - Mike Tindall
Two-time Olympian and former British, Commonwealth, European and World Champion Derek Redmond
Olympic gold and bronze medal winning members of the GB women’s hockey team Crista Cullen and Maddie Hinch
Athletes mingled and posed for photos with guests - including President of the International Association of Athletics Federations, Lord Seb Coe - during the drinks reception.
Derek Redmond and Crista Cullen joined Right To Play’s Founder and four-time Winter Olympic gold medalist, Johann Olav Koss, for a Q&A with the evening’s host, Mark Durden-Smith. They each talked passionately about the influence of coaches in their own lives. Crista spoke about her school teacher who told her she could one day play for England, whilst Derek gave credit to his own father, who famously carried him across the finish line when his hamstring snapped at the 1992 Olympic Games. Despite his own Olympic success, Johann chose to praise the 14,900 Right To Play volunteer coaches who continually inspire him to achieve more through Right To Play's programmes.
The phenomenal fundraising total was raised through table sales, auctions, a raffle and a live pledge. A heartfelt thank you from us all at Right To Play to everyone that contributed to the success of the evening, especially the generous donors and those that supplied prizes for the auctions and raffles. With your support we will be able to continue to make a difference to children through sport and play.
Watch our short highlight film from the event below: