Hamilton's Star Turf holds 24-hour soccer match for furry fundraiser

Star Turf organised a full day of football to fundraise for Assistance Dogs New Zealand. (Front): Lee Massey, Samantha ...
MARK TAYLOR FAIRFAX NZ

Star Turf organised a full day of football to fundraise for Assistance Dogs New Zealand. (Front): Lee Massey, Samantha Massey and Duncan Wright with (back) Wendy Isaacs and dog Asher.

The team at Star Turf in Hamilton are still pretty tired after hosting a 24-hour game of football.

Held over Auckland Anniversary weekend, owner Duncan Wright and head coach Lee Massey created a taxing event to raise funds for charity.

Players were slotted in for one hour of game-time in a tag-team format to keep the ball rolling. The match started at 5pm on Friday and continued until 5pm Saturday.

There were no referees, but no fallouts, Wright said.

The game was all in the name of Assistance Dogs New Zealand, a trust that aims to provide purpose-bred and trained dogs to people living with a disability.

Wright and Massey approached funding development manager Wendy Isaacs, who thought the idea was fantastic.

On the day, she brought along puppy-in-training Asher who is football mad. He was even given a soccer ball for Christmas.

Asher, who is 11 months old, played alongside young players during Kid's Hour. 

Isaacs said Assistance Dogs was very grateful to be the recipients of the fundraising.

"I think it was a very unique experience for our puppy and for us to be involved in a community event," Isaacs said.

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"For us, it's about participating. We enjoyed every bit of it."

The idea for a fundraiser began when a regular to Star Turf mentioned someone had set the World Record for the longest game of football. 

"We thought, let's do something that hasn't been done in the country before," Massey said.

As well as the ongoing match, there were other activities such as disco football, zorb​ football and foot darts.

More than 100 people came in to participate and help out, he said.

Star Turf raised just short of $2000 so contributed what was left to reach the number. They had initially hoped to raise $1000.

Star Turf has more than 200 kids under the age of 13 enrolled into programmes and over 50 league teams.

"The people who come here are amazing. Everyone bought into the fact that it was a fundraiser."

Although the event was a success, there were no plans to hold another 24-hour game in the future.

"We don't like doing the same thing twice, we like doing things differently," Wright said.

Star Turf is located at 82 Duke St, Frankton. For more information, visit: www.starturfindoorsoccer.com

 - Stuff

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