Supporters’ cycle team Latics2Amsterdam (L2A) named as the 2016-17 season official charity partner.
- Latics2Amsterdam partnership to be launched at QPR match on Saturday 27 August.
- L2A bid to sign up 50 cyclists for Prostate Cancer UK’s Football to Amsterdam ride in 2017.
- Wigan Athletic Community Trust and Wigan Youth Zone are the club’s permanent official charities.
The partnership will be officially launched at this Saturday’s Sky Bet Championship match versus Queens Park Rangers, with the players warming up in t-shirts, match day collections inside and outside the DW Stadium, sales of Prostate Cancer UK pin badges and a half-time presentation on the pitch.
The official charity partner operates alongside permanent official club charities Wigan Athletic Community Trust and Wigan Youth Zone. Thirty separate organisations and initiatives replied to the club’s request earlier this summer to seek a replacement for the 2015-16 charity partner, Wigan-based domestic violence support group DIAS Dvc.
After a lengthy process of reviewing all the entrants, the Latics2Amsterdam initiative has been chosen as the 2016-17 charity partner of the season.
Now in its 3rd year, L2A was initially comprised of two long-time Latics fans, Peter Mulqueeney and John Heeley, who cycled from Leyton Orient’s Brisbane Road stadium to the Amsterdam Arena in June 2015, home of Ajax FC, as part of the Football to Amsterdam bike ride in aid of Prostate Cancer UK, the official charity of the EFL.
The pair raised nearly £6,000 between them and spurred on by their success, they were joined by 11 other Latics supporters in 2016, with the group raising £20,000, earning them an orange jersey as the top team fundraisers at the start of the event.
For 2017, the target is 50 supporters on the Football to Amsterdam ride, each with the aim of raising £1,000 at least. The plan is also to start from the DW Stadium, making the trip across to Barnsley to meet up with supporters from other clubs, before cycling to Hull to catch the ferry to Holland and completing the journey to the home of Ajax FC.
Peter, on behalf of L2A, said:
“We already had tremendous backing from Latics last year, but this will help to spread the message even further and encourage people to take part next summer and raise even more money for Prostate Cancer UK and in so doing help to save lives. So thank you to the club for choosing us.
“We know it’s an ambitious target, but no one thought we would achieve what we did in 2015 and 2016, so why not? The Wigan Athletic story is one of dreams coming true after all, so that has to be our motivation.”
Jonathan Jackson, Wigan Athletic Chief Executive, said:
“As always, we wanted to choose a charity partner which we felt would have a direct impact in our community.
“We highlighted the extremely serious issue of domestic violence in 2015-16, and this season, with one in eight men affected by prostate cancer, we feel this is another issue which will resonate locally. In addition to this, L2A is an initiative which was started by people who are stalwart Wigan Athletic supporters, and we are confident the rest of our supporter base will connect with that aspect.
“We’d like to thank everyone who applied once again, and we would encourage organisations to contact us again next season.”
James Beeby, Director of Fundraising at Prostate Cancer UK, said:
“We’re delighted Wigan Athletic will continue to raise vital funds for Prostate Cancer UK via their Latics2Amsterdam team.
“Ignoring prostate cancer will not beat it, and the money raised by the club’s fantastic fans will fund ground-breaking research to help fight the disease. That will help us provide dedicated support and information to men and their families affected by this disease.
“We are proud to be Official Charity Partner of the EFL, and Wigan Athletic and clubs from across the football family have consistently shown a brilliant demonstration of what we call Men United: people joining one team to fight a common opposition – prostate cancer.
“One man every hour dies from prostate cancer; it’s the most common cancer in men, but we want to make prostate cancer a disease that the next generation of men do not fear.”
For more information on the club’s charities policy, please consult the Wigan Athletic Customer Charter available here.
For more information on Latics2Amsterdam or to get involved with their fundraising efforts visit latics2amsterdam.co.uk - You can also follow their progress on Twitter via @Latics2A