YOUTH footballers went the distance during lockdown to raise money for the hospice after their dream trip to Holland was cancelled.

Ayr Boswell 2002s were left gutted that their summer tour playing against famous Dutch development squads, was axed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

But the players were determined to turn the difficult situation into something positive.

Instead they set out to virtually cover the 2307 kilometres, they would have travelled by plane to Rotterdam and back, by running, walking or cycling.

Last month they completed the mammoth challenge and were inspired by other Boswell squads including the 2008s, who ran a virtual tour of English Premier League grounds.

Proud coach Ian Thomson told the Advertiser: “We were over in Holland last year and were planning on going there again.

“We have a contact over there, who is a scout for Ajax. We were set to play Sparta Rotterdam and Feyenoord over a four day tour in April, but the trip was cancelled due to coronavirus.

“We noticed that other teams in the club were doing something for charity, so we thought about doing something similar.

“We wanted to keep the boys motivated, to give something back. The boys and the parents were all fantastic. It was a great team effort.”

The team who have been together over 10 years had been missing the football which was brought to a halt in March.

It was set to be a landmark year for many of the players, and the coaches were keen to keep them active as lockdown stopped an exciting time in their life.

Ian added: “I really feel sorry for the players.

“We have been trying to keep them active. They have missed out on so much, they were gearing up to leave secondary school, they’ve missed out on proms, some of them were just learning to drive, life was changing completely then this happened.”

Together the team raised £1,660 in aid of Ayrshire Hospice, which the club have a close connection to after a coach John Rowan passed there several years ago.

Each year the club host a charity day and raise funds for the charity.

Ron Swanson, assistant fundraising manager at the Ayrshire Hospice said “We are really impressed and delighted with the fundraising efforts of Ayr Boswell Football Club.

“What a brilliant idea and we really appreciate their amazing support of our hospice at this challenging time. It costs around £22,000 per day to run our hospice services so thank you to all the boys and their families for the literally going the extra mile to raise these incredible funds.”


Scotland is in lockdown. Shops are closing and newspaper sales are falling fast. We're not exaggerating when we say that the future of the Ayr Advertiser, and the vital local news service we've provided since 1803, is under threat.

Please consider supporting the Ayr Advertiser in whatever way you can – by paying just 90p for a copy of the paper, when you're shopping for essential supplies for yourself and others, or by subscribing to our e-edition here.

Thanks – and stay safe.