Scout body to raise cash for charity via football

The Scout Association (TSA) is on the hunt for sponsors for a PR campaign promoting fitness and a healthy lifestyle among children.

The organisation is attempting to persuade celebrities and professional footballers to take part in a ‘Big Kickabout’ football match to raise funds for charity Cancer and Leukaemia in Childhood (CLIC).

Ex-Liverpool FC footballer Craig Johnston and ex-England rugby player Martin Bayfield have so far pledged their support.

TSA is looking to attract companies that make outdoor or healthy living products to sponsor the event, which will be watched by scouts and scout leaders, and is also hoping to recruit a children’s media partner.

It intends to use the event to raise awareness among scouts of the importance of staying healthy, as well as the sufferings of children with cancer.

The association has hired sport and entertainment PR specialist ENS to run the campaign following a three-way pitch. The agency plans to exploit the opportunity presented by Big Kickabout to position TSA as a modern organisation with contemporary activities.

‘We want to change people’s perception of scouts,’ said ENS PR consultant Jules Wake. ‘It’s not about white boys with knobbly knees filing round the campfire. The organisation is multi-faith, has a wide ethnic mix and aims to include both girls and boys.’

ENS plans to launch Big Kickabout next month at a photoshoot with celebrity footballers and ethnically diverse scouts. The proceeds from the May 2005 event will be shared between CLIC and TSA.

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