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Leicester student teams up with influencer to host charity football match for Help the Homeless

A charity football match between two local gyms was played in the name of charity at the University of Leicester’s Roger Bettles Sports Centre last Sunday.

Fitness influencer Flexy Nyarko and Leicester student Daniel Serrano recruited players and supporters to take part in the game, with all donations going towards city charity Help the Homeless.

The game was a goal-fest, ending 12-5 in favour of the team representing St George’s Way, with Flexy scoring five goals and Daniel netting four.

St George’s Way simply had too much quality in the attack, which in the end led to Walnut Street conceding the trophy to their inter-city rivals.

The pair who organised the event met at the gym, with a shared passion for football. Both wanted a reason to play, and Flexy was already working on the idea of the ‘Akillies Games’ – a series of sports events to raise an overall goal of £500k for Help the Homeless in Leicester.

Fitness influencer Flexy Nyarko (left) with Leicester student Daniel Serrano (right).

Flexy particularly wanted to help a homeless charity because he knows what it’s like to be in that position. “I’ve been homeless for a lot of my life,” he said. 

The Akillies Games are a way of blending Flexy’s passion for competitive sports and active life with his desire to help the wider community. 

Daniel said: “My only experience with helping charities before has been from a distance. For example, donating clothes or donating a percentage of online business sales. This was my first time taking part in a charity event, and it was fun because I was able to do it by playing a sport I love. It’s clear to me that you can be helpful by doing things you enjoy.”

“It is definitely a cause that I think benefits my city. These people can now be given a chance to improve their lives and I think that is always good.

“Winning a match and a trophy always feels great, especially when you score to help the team. However, the purpose of this game was for everyone to have fun, including both teams, and to raise money for our specific charity.”

The match was the pilot to kick off these events, with hundreds of pounds raised already. The following Akillies Games will include a 5k run, basketball, and strength competitions among others.

The University of Leicester provided the pitch for the match after Daniel organised the connection between the institution and Akillies Games. 

Founder of Help the Homeless, Arif Voraji, said he is “delighted” with the efforts put into the event. He is especially happy that the cause led to plenty of fun for those involved. 

Flexy himself is very pleased with how this first game turned out. He added: “Thank you so much to everybody who got involved today! A day to remember – and this is only the beginning”.

This story was written by Daniel Serrano, a third-year Journalism student at the University of Leicester.

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