MP Gives Goalkeeping a Go

October 31, 2011 4:51 PM

Carshalton Athletic fans will be able to test the goalkeeping skills of their local MP Tom Brake for charity this Saturday during the Robins' FA Trophy match against Cirencester Town.

Tom will don goalkeeper gloves to launch his Olympic Gold Challenge in aid of Bliss, a charity dedicated to helping premature and sick babies, and will get between the sticks at half time to face penalties from both club supporters and staff for a small donation.

He said: "I can't say that I ever considered myself much of a goalie, so I'm approaching this with some trepidation! Practice makes perfect though, so I hope that lots of people come down from the stands to take shots."

The Challenge will see Tom try his hand at ten Olympic sports, including football and judo, and culminate with a gruelling triathlon before the London Games start in July next year. Over the next ten months or so, he will be looking to raise money for Bliss, who provide help and support in maternity wards across the country, such as the one in Sutton's St Helier Hospital.

It is estimated that more than eighty thousand children, or one in every nine babies, are born premature or ill each year. Founded in 1979, Bliss offers free advice and support to families with babies born ill or premature and works with parents both before and after the birth of their children. Just this year, they set up a weekly parents group in Sutton.

Tom said: "The work Bliss do helping the families of sick babies is second to none, so I'm very happy to be able to do my bit and raise money for them before the Games start. The fact that the money will be going to help support networks in local hopitals such as our own makes it even more worthwhile."

He added: "I've taken part in a lot of running and cycling events in the past, but many of these sports are totally new to me so I might even have some fun on the way!"

To know more about Tom's Olympic Gold Challenge, the sports he'll be trying or to donate, visit If you would like to know more about Bliss and their work, go to

What would you like to do next?