Archie Foundation on the lookout for north-east mascots to support charity football tournament
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North-east emergency services are to swap the frontline for the football pitch at this year’s charity Battle of the Badges tournament.
Organised by The Archie Foundation, the event will take place on Saturday, June 8 at Aberdeen’s Balmoral Stadium.
This annual fundraiser is a chance for teams from the police, fire service, NHS and Scottish Ambulance Service to put their footballing skills to the test as they take to the pitch to find out which service will come out on top.
The Archie Foundation is calling for any youngsters who have received treatment at the Royal Aberdeen Children’s Hospital or who have been supported by any of the services provided by The Archie Foundation to apply to be a Battle of the Badges mascot.
Cassie McGunnigle, fundraising manager at The Archie Foundation, said: “The mascots play a vital role in the Battle of the Badges. Each mascot is paired with a player from one of the four teams.
"On the day they will accompany their player on to the field and be on hand to support the players and their team throughout their matches.
“Not only that, the mascots help in the run up to the event too. Some will fundraise for The Archie Foundation along with their player and there is a chance they might get to visit their player at work too.
“We also host a meet-the-mascot event so that the mascots can all meet before the big day. It’s great to see the children connecting with each other and sharing their excitement about the Battle of the Badges.”
Team Fire won last year’s Battle of the Badges. Their captain, Matthew Cowe, will be back on the pitch for the 2024 event.
Matthew, T/Station Commander within Aberdeen City, said: “I have been involved with the Battle of the Badges since it started in 2019 and I’m really looking forward to captaining Team Fire again this year.
“At Scottish Fire and Rescue many of us have seen first-hand the incredible work done by the team at The Archie Foundation, the support and services they provide make such a difference to children and their families.
“Being part of the Battle of the Badges is a great way for Scottish Fire and Rescue to be part of a fun event in our local community while also raising money for an important cause.
"I’m looking forward to meeting my mascot for this year’s event and hoping we can work together to raise funds for The Archie Foundation.”
Heather Jones’ son Toby (7) was a mascot for Team NHS in 2023.
Speaking about the experience she said: “We all enjoyed last year’s Battles of the Badges, it was a great family day out and helped to ensure Toby has good memories to associate with his trip to hospital.
“He thoroughly enjoyed the whole experience, especially having a kick about with Team NHS and trying to score against Archie in between the games.
"He still regularly talks about when he was a mascot and will definitely be applying to be a mascot again this year.”
Cassie added: “The Battle of the Badges is a fun family day out. As well as the all-important football matches, there will be face painting, mystery animal guests and pitch side entertainment.
"The event also raises much-needed funds for The Archie Foundation, helping us to continue supporting babies, children and their families.”
Visit www.archie.org/events/battleofthebadges-2024 or email email@example.com to apply to be one of this year’s mascots.
Tickets for the Battle of the Badges will be available in the spring and will cost £10 per adult and £5 per child.
Visit www.archie.org/getsupport for more information about the practical, financial and emotional support available from The Archie Foundation.