Big-hearted Marco Sementa from Peterborough first started organising charity games in 2015, in memory of his mum Shayne who sadly passed away in 2012.
Since then, Marco’s ‘Team Sementa’ project has grown and grown – and he has put on a series of charity matches involving people of all ages and abilities “playing together for change”.
To date, Marco and his football “army” have raised more than £40,000 for different charitable causes. He even scooped a Peterborough Telegraph Pride in Peterborough ‘Sporting Achievement’ award in 2019 for his efforts.
Not content to stop there, Marco will line up at a very special 150th charity match this Sunday (30th May) at Yaxley Football Club.
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It will raise vital funds for two charities – Sue Ryder Thorpe Hall Hospice in Peterborough, which cares for people with life-limiting conditions and supports their loved ones, and Macmillan Cancer Support.
The Team Sementa Game 150 Challenge will see ten teams participating, playing over the course of five hours. This includes various men’s teams, walking football teams and a women’s game. The challenge will follow the latest coronavirus guidance.
As well as players taking part from the Peterborough area, the day will have an international flavour with teams from Australia, Latvia and Finland playing from afar in their home countries.
Marco said: “Our 150th game is a huge milestone for Team Sementa,
“Thinking about how much we have raised for charities over the past six years makes me feel really proud. It has been a great team effort with players, sponsors, referees and photographers all getting involved. To also have the support from my wife Amy, daughters Isabella and Sienna, my dad and brothers, means so much. Friends, family and the local community have been awesome too.
“What started as a mission in memory of my mum is now even more, meaning I can show my daughters that anyone can make a positive difference in the community and beyond. Considering our initial target was five games with a £500 target, we have now reached game 150 and raised over £40,000 for a number of charitable causes.
“More than 600 people have played in our charity games, ranging from 16 to 72 in age. Each game is playing football with friends, having a laugh out in the fresh air, raising money for charity; it’s a win-win! A few players have also shared that as well as helping with their physical fitness, it has helped with their mental health, too. It’s like a football family, everyone gets on.”
To date and at the time of writing, Marco had raised more than £3,100 for Sue Ryder Thorpe Hall Hospice, which is one of his chosen charities for the 150th game.
Helen Kingston, Community Fundraising Officer at Sue Ryder Thorpe Hall Hospice, added: “We are thrilled and honoured that Marco has chosen to support us on this very special occasion – his 150th Team Sementa charity game. Marco’s passion and drive to give back, make a difference and raise funds for causes such as ours is really inspiring.
“From all of us here at Sue Ryder Thorpe Hall Hospice, we want to say a huge thank you to Marco and everyone else involved; the funds you raise will help us to be there for patients and their loved ones when it matters most. You can support Marco’s football fundraising for Sue Ryder through JustGiving: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/marco-sementa150thchallenge”