Ipswich Town footballers swap off-side for offshore with visit to Aldeburgh RNLI
A pair of leading footballers from Ipswich Town will swap the roar of the crowd for the rolling seas when they visit Aldeburgh RNLI Lifeboat Station today.
Cole Skuse and Martyn Waghorn will meet volunteer lifeboat crew members and get a glimpse into what life is like for the dedicated crews of the lifeboat charity on Thursday 14 September.
The visit will pave the way for a major RNLI presence at Ipswich Town’s fixture against Bolton Wanderers on Saturday 16 September, when the charity’s collectors will be in the ground raising the vital funds that help it save lives at sea.
Ben Long, Community Fundraising Manager for the RNLI, explained more: ‘The RNLI is thrilled to have been invited to Ipswich Town’s Portman Road stadium for their match against Bolton. The team approached us earlier this year and said they are all admirers of the lifesaving work the Royal National Lifeboat Institution does, and they would like to support us in some way.
'We’re very lucky to have been invited to have collectors at the ground on Saturday, but there’ll be a lot more than just our volunteers carrying donation buckets. One of our D-class inshore lifeboats will be available for people to see and take photographs with, and our mascot, Stormy Stan, will entertain children and pose for photos.’
The teams will be led onto the pitch by Aldeburgh’s inshore lifeboat helm Stephen Osbourne. Stephen, whose day job is as a mechanic at a local garage, started as shore crew at the station in 2004 and now volunteers as crew on both the inshore and all-weather lifeboats. Stephen, who lives in Aldeburgh and is a huge Ipswich Town fan, was nominated for the role of Ipswich ‘Community Champion’ by the crew.
In addition to reflecting the work of the RNLI’s volunteer lifeboat crew members, supporters at the match will also be able to learn more about charity’s beach lifeguards, as one of its lifeguard trucks will also be parked up.
'We have been featured in Ipswich Town’s programme as well, so we can reach as many people as possible, and hopefully raise a great amount to help fund our rescues both on the beach and out at sea.’
Ahead of the fixture against Bolton, Midfielder Cole and striker Waghorn will join the crew of Aldeburgh on Thursday at 2pm for an exercise aboard the RNLI’s Mersey class lifeboat, Freddie Cooper. They will be put through their paces and practice important skills such as tying rope knots, boat handling, and reading navigation charts at sea. After the exercise at sea they will be available for media interviews and photographs on the beach.
Dan Palfrey, spokesperson for Ipswich Town FC, said: ‘We’re delighted to be able to support the RNLI in this way, and Cole and Martyn are excited to be going out with the lifeboat crew to see first-hand what it’s like aboard a lifeboat. The volunteer lifeboat crews do such amazing work, and they can’t wait to get a glimpse of what that’s like.’
Media opportunity: Media are welcome to attend Aldeburgh at 2pm onwards on Thursday 14 September. Community Fundraising Manager Ben Long and Area Lifesaving Manager Graeme Richardson are also available for interview regarding both events.
RNLI media contacts
Tim Ash, RNLI Public Relations Manager (London/East/South East) on 0207 6207426, 07785 296252 firstname.lastname@example.org
Paul Dunt, RNLI Press Officer (London/East/South East) on 0207 6207416, 07786 668825, email@example.com
For enquiries outside normal business hours, contact the RNLI duty press officer on 01202 336789
Key facts about the RNLI
The RNLI charity saves lives at sea. Its volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service around the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland coasts. The RNLI operates over 238 lifeboat stations in the UK and Ireland and more than 240 lifeguard units on beaches around the UK and Channel Islands. The RNLI is independent of Coastguard and government and depends on voluntary donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. Since the RNLI was founded in 1824, its lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved over 142,700 lives.