An inspirational message from refugee and UN-award winner Malual Bol Kirr provided an important reminder of Right To Play’s life-changing work as supporters and stars from the world of sport came together for an evening of fine-dining and entertainment at the Big Red Ball 2017.
The evening, hosted by Mark Durden-Smith, took place at the impressive Grand Connaught Rooms where an incredible £436,000 was raised which is enough to provide weekly sport and play activities to over 13,000 children for a year.
Malual, 23 originally from war-torn South Sudan, has been a refugee twice. His story was at the centre of Right To Play UK’s sixth Big Red Ball. His life has been turned around through participation in Right To Play programmes which have taught him tolerance among many other key life skills and inspired him to launch the Africa Youth Action Network.
A host of Right To Play Athlete Ambassadors and supporters were at the Ball to show their support including:
- Three-time Olympian and gold medal winning hockey player Crista Cullen
- Four-time Winter Olympian and seven-time British National Champion Chemmy Alcott
- Professional Table Tennis Player and Commonwealth Silver Medallist Darius Knight
- Four-time British Olympian, three-time Olympic gold medallist and a quadruple World Champion in rowing Andrew Triggs Hodge
Right To Play female Athlete Ambassadors Crista Cullen, Chemmy Alcott, Anne Wafula Strike, plus dedicated supporter Saskia Clark, were dressed in designs by British fashion designer Zaeem Jamal.
The evening started with guests trying their hand at a range of games, which included Crista Cullen and Chemmy Alcott battling it out at table tennis, before enjoying a three course meal. In between courses, there were speeches from Right To Play CEO Kevin Frey and Right To Play Athlete Ambassador Crista Cullen who introduced Malual’s inspiring story. You can view the video of Malual here.
The incredible fundraising total, which topped last year’s amount, was raised through table sales, a raffle, live pledge and highly successful auctions.
A heartfelt thank you to everyone that contributed to the overwhelming success of the evening. With your support we will be able to continue to make a difference to children through sport and play.
To view photos from the Big Red Ball 2017, please click here