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10-year-old Cambridgeshire girl Imogen leads attempt to complete 7.1 million keepy-uppies

Imogen Papworth-Heidel has set an ambitious challenge to recognise key workers and raise money for charity.

Imogen Papworth-Heidel on her keepy-uppy challenge. Picture: Twitter
Imogen Papworth-Heidel on her keepy-uppy challenge. Picture: Twitter

The #7.1KeepyUppieChallenge was thought of by the 10-year-old Hauxton footballer and is now earning support across social media.

Inspired by Captain Tom Moore, Imogen wanted to do something to help and, as a football lover, decided to do a keepy-uppy for every person classed as a key worker.

Her parents, who both work for the NHS, checked the number and it was 7.1 million.

Imogen started by doing at least 200 keepy-uppies a day, but worked out that it would take 97 years to reach the target.

She reached out for help on social media and now people are donating both money, which will cover nine charities, and keepy-uppies to the cause, and posting videos or pictures of their efforts. Imogen is now up to 2,000 keepy-uppies a day on her own, and by Wednesday (April 29), her personal tally was 16,000.

Among those to have taken part are Cambridge United players Harry Darling, Tom Knowles and Ben Worman, as well as many members of the Cambridge United Women’s squad, including manager Ben Yeoman.

Former U’s and Manchester United player Luke Chadwick has said that he and his Football Fun Factory colleagues will also add to the keepy-uppy total.

U’s head coach Mark Bonner has also given his backing to Imogen, who trains with the club’s girls’ elite centre, surprising her during an interview on BBC Radio Cambridgeshire.

“We think what you’re doing is absolutely brilliant and we want to try to help if we can,” said Mark. “I’ve made a little donation to the cause and we have a couple of players that have sent keepy-uppy donations your way and we will see if we can get this going through the club as well and get our development centres and academy players involved.

“We’ve got over 1,000 players there so hopefully if we can get some people to buy into it and send some videos your way, that might cut down the 97 years you’ve got to try to achieve.

“We think what you’re doing is brilliant and anyone that puts themselves out for other people deserves the credit you’re getting. Hopefully we can help you out, and we’re really proud of what you’re doing.”

Imogen has so far raised £3,858 for charity.

Follow the challenge on Twitter @imogen_ph or make a donation at justgiving.com/team/7millionKeepieUppieChallengeforCovidHeroes-Team.

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