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REMF donation funds new kit for the DS Eagles

The Robert Eaton Memorial Fund generously donated £8,000 to Palace for Life earlier this year, and a proportion of the funds from the donation have been used to create a bespoke new kit for our Down’s Syndrome football team, the DS Eagles.

The Robert Eaton Memorial Fund (REMF) was formed following the devastating attacks on the World Trade Centre on September 11, 2001. Robert Eaton was a Brighton & Hove Albion supporter and was one of the 3,000 innocent people who were caught in the unprovoked and cowardly attacks of that tragic day.

Since its inception, the annual REMF game was born – a challenge match between Brighton and Crystal Palace supporters – putting rivalries aside to raise funds to help fund a junior football club in the US.

Since 2001, the REMF has supported charities closer to home as well as in the US, including Palace for Life, with a recent donation of £8,000 to help support projects we deliver in south London. One such project is our Down’s Syndrome football team – also known as the DS Eagles – who last week during their annual Christmas party – were gifted their brand-new kit, funded by the REMF’s generous donation.

The new kit, designed in a rich and sophisticated dark blue with a red trim by the shoulders features the Palace for Life logo on the front and ’21 – DS Eagles’ on the back. The number 21 is significant in the Down’s Syndrome community as people with Down’s Syndrome are born with three copies of chromosome 21, instead of the usual two copies. As part of the kit, our DS players will also wear odd socks, to pay homage to the World Down’s Syndrome Day tradition, which takes place on the 21st March every year.

The back of the new DS Eagles Kit

Ben Perryman, the DS Eagles coach said:

I would like to thank REMF for giving us the opportunity to create a unique football kit for our DS Eagles. The kit was designed to highlight our unique players with each player having number 21 on the back. The number 21 in the Down’s Syndrome community is very important as in signifies the uniqueness of the triplication of the 21st chromosome, which causes Down’s Syndrome. Every player will also have odd socks as this a national campaign run on 21st March every year to celebrate World Down’s Syndrome Day.”

The DS Eagles sporting their new kit, funded by The REMF

The new kit wasn’t only the surprise that day, our team were also visited by Santa, who helped hand out the new kits and played with them in their final training session of the year. Ben continued:

“The Christmas party was a great way to celebrate the end of the year especially because they were joined by a very important VIP in Santa Claus. All the players have improved so much and are are really starting to play like a team now.”

The DS Eagles were visited by Santa in their final training session of the year

Valerie, mother of the DS Eagles star-striker Ruari said:

“A big thank you to Palace for Life for all the support and opportunities it gives our children. Ruairi thoroughly enjoyed his evening and was thrilled with the new football top which is so sporty and stylish and shows the players true identity.”

For information on Disability Sport at Palace for Life, head here. If you’re interested in fundraising for Palace for Life, head here.

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