Feyenoord – AZ raises over € 30,000 for Sophia Children’s Hospital
Earlier this month the home match against AZ marked the close cooperation between Feyenoord and the Erasmus MC Sophia Children’s Hospital. The match not only brought home three points, but also €30,818.05 for charity. Collection boxes, a so-called heart lanyard, a special banner, hundreds of patients and a robot: it was time for the annual Sophiawedstrijd. Hundreds of young patients and their parents got the chance to come to De Kuip on this special day.
Unfortunately, not all patients were able to make it to the stadium. That is why the Awabot Robot of the European Football for Development Network made its debut on the Dutch fields. It is part of the Florence Programme named after Florence Nightingale and ‘Floor’, the niece of EFDN’s CEO Hubert Rovers who suffered a spinal cord injury at the beginning of 2021 and became paralyzed from the waist down at the age of 14. The EFDN Florence programme will provide ill children and young people with the opportunity to become the FAN of the Match from a distance. This initiative will see the robot drive onto the pitch together with the players making it possible for a fan who cannot attend the match due to illness to join the warming-up, line-up, watch the game from the sidelines and join the players after the game during their lap of honour. This special robot was placed both in the hospital and along the pitch in De Kuip. It was operated by a young fan in the hospital, who was able to watch the match from close by.
Alyshia Schijf (6) who has one lung, Bart van de Haterd (11) with a congenital heart defect and Arend van Deutekom (pediatric cardiologist Erasmus MC Sophia Hospital) had the honour to show the life-size version of the Heart Lace for the first time on the pitch of De Kuip.
An incredibly beautiful amount,’ said Arend van Deutekom, pediatric cardiologist at the Erasmus MC Sophia Children’s Hospital. ‘With this amount we can take the first big steps in the realisation of the So Fit and Fun Centre. We would like to thank Feyenoord, De Kuip and everyone who has made a donation.’
In the so-called ‘So Fit and Fun Centre’, children with heart or lung problems can exercise in a safe environment. In this way, they not only work on the health of their heart, lungs and muscles, but they can also play and practice sports with their peers. An additional advantage of this ‘So Fit and Fun Centre’ is that doctors can carry out tests in a child-friendly environment.
It is fantastic that Feyenoord and De Kuip, as icons of sport in Rotterdam, are doing this,’ Van Deutekom continues. ‘This way top-class sport supports children in sports and exercise and especially the children of Sophia who have to face physical challenges. A great cooperation that I am proud to be involved with.’
During the Feyenoord – AZ match there was a big turnout to draw attention to the Erasmus MC Sophia Children’s Hospital. Not only were hundreds of patients, their families and Sophia staff present in De Kuip to watch the match live, there was also a special banner with the bright red heart lace on it, which has recently gone on sale in the Feyenoord Fanshops and elsewhere.
Thanks to the (provisional) proceeds of the sale of the heart laces, a collection among supporters and a special lottery during Feyenoord – AZ, Feyenoord can donate over € 30,000 to the Erasmus MC Sophia Children’s Hospital. A nice donation after a successful afternoon of sports.