Five members of the squad took part in a fun and entertaining challenge at Cobham recently in a bid to ‘Give Cancer a Kicking.’
The event, in association with Global partner Hyundai, aimed to raise awareness and funds for Stand Up To Cancer with Gary Cahill, David Luiz, Davide Zappacosta, N’Golo Kante and Victor Moses tasked with striking balls at hanging targets. The players were joined by club legends Gianfranco Zola, Carlo Cudicini and Katie Chapman, as well as Chelsea-supporting celebrities and Stand Up To Cancer ambassadors Omid Djalili and Jason Flemyng.
The challenge was quite simple. Five drones were dispatched into the air, each of which contained a target attached by a hanging rope. The players, from various distances, then had to strike the ball and attempt to hit the targets.
A fierce wind sweeping across the pitch at Cobham didn’t help their cause, but it was no surprise when Zola, one of our all-time greats, and the current assistant first team coach, was the first to achieve success, before going on to repeat the feat on a number of occasions.
There was a fantastic team spirit among those taking part as they all encouraged and supported each other, with the last strike of the day achieved by Kante, whose trademark grin on hitting the target told its own story.
After a collective attempt at hitting the targets brought the proceedings to a close, the players and celebrities posed for photographs alongside each other.
Moses said: 'It’s always good for the players to be able to take part in events such as these. Stand Up To Cancer is such an important campaign because cancer affects so many people.
'Gianfranco was the best at hitting the targets but it was just a bit of fun and we all had a good laugh competing against each other in the challenge.'
For actor Flemyng, a die-hard Chelsea fan and star of films such as Snatch and Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, the opportunity to raise awareness and money for life-saving research, as well as meet some of his heroes, was one he couldn’t pass up.
‘It’s giving cancer a kicking so it’s great to be here for such an important cause, and to be on the pitch with the players was amazing,’ he said.
‘Gianfranco is my absolute hero so to spend a bit of time with him was special, and somebody had told him how much of a fan I am so he’s been really sweet to me. He’s still got the skills as well, he hit the targets more than anybody else, but all in all it’s been a fantastic day.’
As an official partner of both Chelsea FC and Stand Up To Cancer, Hyundai has donated its matchday rights for Saturday’s big game against Manchester United to 'Give Cancer a Kicking' and drive donations for Stand Up To Cancer.
Stand Up To Cancer is a joint national fundraising campaign from Cancer Research UK and Channel 4 to speed up groundbreaking cancer research and save lives. Stand Up To Cancer funds research that takes breakthroughs from the labs and turns them into brand new tests and treatments for cancer patients. Stand Up To Cancer is back, bigger and better, this autumn, with the help of the ‘Give Cancer a Kicking’ campaign, raising awareness of this important cause.
- You can watch a video of the day's events below.
The awareness raising continues this weekend at the match against Manchester United at Stamford Bridge.
Fans will be invited to take part in the ‘Give Cancer a Kicking’ football accuracy challenge although this time with a more traditional target-based format, with balls kicked towards the goal with the aim of hitting the cancer targets.
Those taking part will be given three balls to attempt to hit the targets and they will also have the chance to donate to Stand Up To Cancer by way of bucket collections or contactless payment points. The challenge will be located near the Shed Wall.
In addition, every time a Hyundai patch gets printed on the sleeve of a shirt in the Megastore on Saturday, Hyundai will donate the equivalent price back to Stand Up To Cancer.