News & Events

Year of Sport-A-Smile Challenges Ends With a Party

[23 Dec 2011]

Abigail Hobbs was born in December 2010 with a cleft palate and had her first surgery in June at John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford.

Since May, her mum Ana and her godfathers Paul and Andy have put together a team of eager volunteers to take part in the ‘Sport-A-Smile’ challenge to raise money for CLAPA. As well as the three organisers, Abi’s dad John and friend Hannah Larkai have joined in with the fundraising.

The challenge has involved getting sponsored to try out a huge range of new sports and activities, from a regular run to climbing through the treetops. The events the team have completed include:

  • May – 20k walk and two hours of fancy dress aerobics
  • June – Swimathon (30 lengths each) and a 10k cycle
  • August – 5k run and a tennis tournament
  • September – Football tournament and ‘Go Ape’, a high wire treetop adventure course
  • October – Squash and badminton tournaments
  • November – Winter sports and a basketball tournament
  • December – Dancing a street routine and a ballroom routine

The dancing in December took place at Abigail’s first birthday party, where CLAPA was also presented with a cheque which now has pride of place up on our office wall! The party was well attended, and our fundraising manager Louise met a number of supporters including Peter and Nicky Thomas whose son Owen was born with a unilateral cleft lip and palate in November 2009. Pictured here with balloons is Ana’s niece Jessica Powell who is ten years old.

The total the team raised was a fantastic £2,350, including an extra £150 raised on the day of the party in December!

As well as the sports events, Ana and her friends were helped along the way by a number of very kind people, such as Stuart Lockie who raised £225 completing a triathlon, Anne and Steve from the Totteridge Community Centre who let the team do six cake sales there as well as allowing them to host a zumba session and Abigail’s birthday party. Wycombe Sports Centre also let the team use their venue for three separate events and even a local mosque joined in to do a collection. CLAPA tins sprung up around their local area to raise even more cash and awareness, though one tin very sadly went missing.

Update - The Wycombe Lions Club read the above article about the missing collection tin, and decided to donate double the amount Ana estimated was in the tin - £50! We would very much like to thank them for such a kind and thoughtful gesture.

The Till family raised over £500 in sponsorship, and a special thank you goes to Callum, 16, who did a bungee jump and Imy, 13, who took part in Go Ape. The two of them only met little Abigail in March this year!

Ana would like to stress that “if we named everyone who helped with every single event, we would be here all day! But we are really grateful to everyone who has joined in, helped us with events and sponsored us!”

Thank you to all of the dedicated Sport-a-Smile team, and happy birthday to Abigail!