A fundraising campaign to replace and rebuild a sports pavilion in memory of a talented young sportsman who died suddenly has broken the £100,000 barrier.
The major milestone in the Matt Cox Pavilion campaign by Edenbridge Cricket Club comes just 16 months after the star player tragically died, with £5,000 from Aberdeen Asset Management’s Charitable Foundation propelling the total into the six figure realm.
Matt lived for the weekend and for his cricket, having come up through the ranks to make it to the first XI at Edenbridge Cricket Club in Kent. He was about to start his final year at Reading University where he also played for the University cricket club when he died suddenly last summer, aged 21, having had an epileptic seizure during the night.
Friends of Matt were the prime movers behind a campaign to raise funds for his beloved cricket club in his memory. When a fundraising drive of £2,500 for a new electronic scoreboard was quickly broken, the focus turned towards creating a more permanent and lasting community facility in his name.
For several years the cricket club had been looking to rebuild its ageing timber pavilion which is over 50 years old and it was suggested to use funds given to the Matt Cox JustGiving page towards that.
Now a new purpose-built pavilion is to be created which will promote access to sport for all as a lasting legacy to Matt. The desire is to create a facility which becomes a focus for the community and not just the cricket club.
Having reached £100,000 through generous donations, a variety of fundraising events and charity nights, attention will turn to drawing down support from the major external funding sources to realise the £250,000 required to provide enhanced sporting and community facilities in Edenbridge.
The new pavilion – which it is hoped will be built and ready for use by May 2018 - will be twice the size of the existing one and will feature modern shower and changing facilities alongside bar, kitchen, function space and meeting rooms.
Matt’s father Tim lives in East Grinstead and has been a member of Edenbridge Cricket Club for 40 years. He has been overwhelmed by the kindness and generosity shown, including the lump sum from Aberdeen Asset Management for whom he worked until his retirement.
Tim commented: “The amount of money being raised is incredible – I would never have imagined that it would be sitting at more than £100,000 but this is testament to how highly Matt was thought of and how he touched the lives of others. Matt was an all-round sportsman, he loved football, hockey and rugby, but cricket was his main love and I think this is a most fitting way to remember him.”
Edenbridge Cricket Club strives to promote the sport to all and in addition to its first and second XI which play in the Mid Sussex League, the club has a junior section with boys and girls teams.
A club spokesperson added: “Since Matthew’s passing the club has been engaged in a huge fundraising effort. Ultimately such a community facility will help the club to continue and build on the work we already do with the aim of giving young and older people of all abilities and ages in Edenbridge area, regardless of gender, the opportunity to become involved and stay active through cricket. The new building will also allow us to support more community events in the future.”
Lynda Affleck from Aberdeen Asset Management’s London charity committee said: “Tim was a valued colleague and we wanted to show our support for this ambitious project to provide great facilities for sports and community use in Edenbridge as a lasting legacy to his son Matt. The amount of money raised shows the high regard in which Matt was held.”
Aberdeen Asset Management’s Charitable Foundation was established in 2012 to formalise and develop the Group’s charitable giving globally. The Foundation seeks partnerships with smaller charities around the world, where funds can be seen to have a meaningful and measurable impact and the firm encourages its employees to use their time and skills to support its charitable projects. The main focus of the Foundation is around emerging markets and local communities, reflecting the desire to give back to those areas which are a key strategic focus of the business and to build on the historic pattern of giving to communities in which Aberdeen employees live and work.
For more information visit http://www.aberdeen-asset.co.uk/aam.nsf/foundation/home
To donate to the Matt Cox JustGiving page please visit: https://www.justgiving.com/MattCox-1
For more information about Edenbridge Cricket Club please visit its website http://edenbridge.hitscricket.com/default.aspx