Velocity girls to tackle virtual marathon challenge in support of sister companies’ support packages for families in need

Velocity Football’s female students caught the running bug after clocking more than 1,250 miles during Red January – and now they have each committed themselves to running a marathon to raise funds in support of packages that are being delivered to families in need across Oxford.

Led by coaches Lauren Haynes and Aliyah Anthony, the girls will each run 26.2 miles on Wednesday, February 10, via fitness app Strava to ensure compliance with the UK’s current lockdown restrictions.

The run has been jointly organised by students studying Velocity Football’s two-year Level 3 BTEC Extended Diploma in Sport programme that is delivered in partnership with Ignite Sport UK and Virtual Learning UK.

Last month, Ignite Sport UK announced it had partnered with Oxford City Football Club, FitFest Oxford and The Oxford Food Company to prepare and distribute support packages. The four companies have currently raised £2,800 of their £3,000 target and supported families by distributing packages containing essential food items, toiletries, sports equipment and more.

In the first week, packages were provided to three Oxford primary schools – New Marston, St Joseph’s and St Nicholas – and supported 108 adults and 205 children.

Lauren Haynes, head coach of Velocity Football’s female programme, said: “The girls applied themselves admirably in January to help Velocity Football raise over £1,000 for Sport in Mind via Red January.

“But it seems they have left some energy in the tank as once January ended they immediately decided to pledge support to our partners Ignite Sport UK and their work with Oxford City FC, FitFest Oxford and The Oxford Food Company by raising funds that will help contribute essential items to their support packages.

“We have a close-knit class of students this year that encourage each other to reach their full potential and enjoy their time at Velocity, even though we currently cannot train and learn together. They’re more than used to putting their best foot forward now, so I expect some impressive times to filter through on Wednesday!”

Justin Merritt, Director of Ignite Sport UK, added his support to the girls’ charity efforts.

“I suspect there is some low-key competition between the girls on the Velocity programme this year,” said Justin. “Their efforts to support Sport in Mind via Red January last month were fantastic, and now they are going the extra 26.2 miles to help a cause that supports families living close to them that require our help during lockdown.

“I cannot thank them enough for their support in helping the cause and want to wish Lauren, Aliyah and all students the very best of luck for their collective marathon attempt.”

To support the girls’ marathon efforts, donations can be made by visiting: Fundraiser by Ignite Sport, Oxford City FC, Oxford Food Co Fitfest Oxford : Family Food & Health Boxes (

Alternatively, you can arrange a drop off of essential items at Oxford City Football Club by emailing [email protected] where a safe and COVID-19 secure collection time can be arranged.

Velocity Football is currently recruiting students for its two-year Level 3 BTEC Extended Diploma in Sport and one-year Level 2 BTEC First Extended Certificate in Sport programmes.

Based at Oxford City FC, the programmes are open to anyone with four GCSEs or more and provide students with real-life experiences across various sectors in sport via strong community partnerships. To learn more, sign up for Velocity Football’s latest virtual open event on Thursday, February 25, at 7pm, visit

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