Run to Barcelona to play footy in Barcelona

North Devon Gazette

The South-West Cerebral Palsy United Football Club is undertaking an epic task to run the distance between their training base in Bridgwater and Barcelona, venue for the annual Cerebral Palsy World tournament in MarchÂ

Featuring players from across Devon, the CP United team have previously self-funded trips to play in this prestigious event but have opted for a different route this time around, hopefully enabling as many players as possible to savour a unique football experience.Â

The total distance is 1,085 miles and all players in the squad are tracking their distances in the cumulative effort. They have set up a funding page, www.gofundme.com/f/run-to-barcelona, with an overall target of raising £5,000 for the trip.Â

Former Pilton Community College student and England CP international Brad Chapman is part of the team undertaking the challenge. He said: “We are all chipping in to cover the distance from our training ground in Bridgwater to the event in Barcelona.Â

“We’ve got players from Devon, Somerset and Wiltshire, and Bridgwater is the most central base for training. There are around 14 players involved and I’ve managed to cover about 120km so far.Â

“The tournament in Barcelona gives us the opportunity to play against other Cerebral Palsy teams from across the world. There are teams from Japan and the USA, plus European sides, with the event spread over a week in late May and early June.  Â

“In previous years, it has been a case of whoever could afford to go but our coach Julie Bowler has actually selected a squad, and this fundraising run will hopefully enable everyone to take part.Â

“There will be a game every day and when we’ve taken part before, it is always very hot. We’ve played against international sides in the past, including a USA development team, Catalonia and Italy.Â

“The standard is very high, a lot of international players. I play for England as well and we’ve got three or four internationals in our squad. We will play a group format at first before moving to the knock-out stages.Â

“We came third in 2018 and would obviously love to go a couple better.”Â

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