IT may still be six days until hundreds of people brave this year’s Boxing Day dip – but it didn’t stop these fundraising footballers from plunging into the icy cold North Sea.
The youngsters from Throston Tornados under-12s football team did their best to ignore the freezing temperatures as they ran into the water all in aid of new kit and equipment.
The dedicated group were joined by coaches, parents and friends and their efforts helped them to raise just shy of £1,000.
The money will be a huge boost to the team who, as well as hoping to buy new kits, are saving money towards moving to a new pitch next year.
Chris Forsyth, team manager, was one of the brave bunch who plunged into the ice-cold waters.
The 41-year-old who works at Caterpillar, in Peterlee, and lives in the Throston area of Hartlepool with partner, Allison Kelly, 44, a lunchtime school supervisor, said: “It was absolutely freezing, it really was bitter cold.
“I couldn’t feel my feet at all, afterwards I walked back to the car and I had stones and glass in my feet, but I just couldn’t feel it.”
After running into the sea, Chris said he could not get back to his car fast enough to try and warm up but said the children wanted to have another go.
“I couldn’t believe it,” he said.
“I was absolutely freezing and they were asking me if we could do it again.”
Chris said he was extremely proud of everyone who gave up their morning to take part in the dip and was amazed with the amount the team managed to raise.
The dad of Ben, 11, and Amy, 13, added: “We haven’t got all of our money in yet but it looks like we will have raised just short of £1,000, an absolutely fantastic effort.
“I was expecting the team to maybe get £20 or £30 each in sponsorship money but some of them came back with around £150.
“It’s going to make such a big difference for us.”
Chris also praised his partner, Allison, who he says hates the cold but who still braved the dip to help raise the funds.