Meet the Cambridge students attempting to break a world record for charity

Sev and George played one-touch-one-bounce football for 24 hours this weekend for Movember

Like most people, when the cold and windy rains of storm Arwen hit this weekend I was more than happy to stay indoors, curled up and staring at my incomplete end of term work. The same could not be said for Cambridge students Sev Baker and George Wyatt who played one-touch-one-bounce (1B1T) football for 24 hours in the (freezing cold and wet!) outdoors.

As well as the traditional moustache to raise funds for Movember, these two Emmanuel students attempted to break a world record for this playground-style game of football. With endorsements from Emmanuel College master, Jay from the Inbetweeners (James Patrick Buckley) and sponsorship from Red Bull, the pair have raised over £1,700 for charity. The Tab caught up with them at the 23-hour mark. 

The students started their shift at Parker’s Piece

The rules

The rules of the twenty-four hours were simple: the ball should be touched (kicked) by a player before bouncing on the ground, then kicked again etc. The current record for the longest game of one-touch-one-bounce stands at four hours.

George and Sev decided to smash this record by playing consecutively from midday on Friday (27/11) to midday on Saturday. They also decided that at least one of them had to be always playing the game. Of course, no Movember campaign could be complete without the self-described “serious whiskers” that Sev and George are also sporting.

The cause

With an initial target of £1000, Sev and George have raised £1700 and counting. Coming apparently only second to Queen’s College Rugby Club’s Movember campaign in funds raised, George added that they’ve been “so lucky” with everyone’s support.

This support for their campaign has come from high profile figures. Those sending in videos have included the Master of Emmanuel College Doug Chalmers, as well as James Patrick Buckley (known for his character Jay on the inbetweeners).

The videos were posted on Sev and George’s Facebook campaign

The pair have also obtained sponsorship from Red Bull in the form of 300 cans of energy drinks to keep them going, and a donation from the Torro Rosso F1 team.

However, for Sev and George, the main focus is on the important work of Movember’s charity projects, especially their work around men’s mental health. They pointed towards the “incredibly alarming” figure that “globally, on average 1 man dies by suicide every minute.”

George added that they hope to not also raise funds in aid of the Movember charity, but also “raise awareness” and lead to “discussions about these topics.” Meanwhile, Sev described that they chose 1B1T football, as it  “brings lads together,” and  “naturally facilitates open conversation” between the players.

24 hours in the cold and rain

As you might imagine twenty-four hours in the cold and wet sounds exactly like it sounds like: cold and wet. George and Sev were also lucky enough to experience hail for a couple of hours as well as snow at 3 am.

Why does this list look like the Cambridge term but worse?

Making up somewhat for these conditions, the students added that “everyone at Emma has been so supportive,” with the college bar donating them some biscuits and other friends bringing tea, coffee and a whole range of snacks. George also noted that they hugely enjoyed the 12 large dominos pizzas that they ordered on Friday evening.

Though both made it to the 23rd hour with the ball still rising into the air, it wasn’t without mishap. Starting off at Parker’s Piece, the game was interrupted every five minutes by a “bright strobe light” from the Winter Wonderland that made it very hard to see the ball. Since they’ve moved into Emma college where the pond also became a problem (see picture below).

A small problem to overcome

As one might expect, they also experienced incredibly uncomfortable damp feet. When I saw them, both were very much looking forward to a big meal, shower, and sleep as well as a drink to celebrate their accomplishments.

George and Sev intend to submit the record to the Guinness World Record committee. As they were unable to pay the £8000 fee for an invigilator, they have to submit evidence (which, according to Sev, they encountered a few “technical difficulties” with).

Whether the record-breaking is official or not, it was a memorable twenty-four hours for a great cause. When I arrived, it was to see Sev and George surrounded by a group of friends kicking the ball in the air with the occasional heads shouted (I narrowly avoided a ball in the face whilst interviewing George).

It’s fair to say that this was not only a ground-breaking way to raise money for an important cause, but also an incredible test of endurance! 

Donate to George and Sev’s campaign here.

All images are credited to Severin Baker.

Articles recommended by this author:

The Tab ranks every supermarket in Cambridge

The most Instagrammed colleges in Cambridge

A cuppa with CU Northern Soc