Guinness World Record in Soccer

Posted by martin.parnell |

Next Events:

3rd Annual Marathon Quest 250 Run / Walk

  • Monday December 31st 2012

  • 9.00pm to 3.00pm

  • Location: Spray Lake Sawmills Family Sports Centre, Cochrane, Alberta

Hockey Quest 500 (Quest #6)

  • Saturday January 19th 2013

  • 8.00am to 4.00pm

  • Location: Spray Lake Sawmills Family Sports Centre, Cochrane, Alberta

At 12.01 pm on Sunday October 7th MPP Blake Richards blew a whistle, bringing to an end 42 hours and 1 minute of 5-a-side soccer.

I was on the substitute's bench as the shrill note went up and everyone in the Spray Lake Sawmills Family Sports Centre erupted into a cheer. The celebrations began with the players hugging and giving high fives, as Robin Mitchell, Facility Manager, called together the two teams and introduced Michael Empric, the Guinness World Record adjudicator. Michael congratulated all involved and announced that a new record had officially been set.

As I stood  with my team mates from the "Eh Team", I thought about how it had all begun. The previous October, I had contacted Robin and bounced off him the idea of attempting to break the 40 hour record, held by a team in the UK. He loved it and soon we had Lucy from Cochrane Rangers, Ally from Cochrane Minor Soccer and Cynthia from the center on board.  Nick Edwards  had approached me about playing but, at 12 years old he was, officially, too young. So, I offered him a position on the organizing committee and he accepted.

Work progressed over the winter and spring and Robin recruited TriOil Resources as the title sponsor. The fund-raising target was $25,000. In June, Cochrane Minor soccer held a tournament and raised $5,000. At around the same time the "Ton of Pennies" fundraiser was born. Three Cochrane musketeers, Dan Kroffat, Alex Baum and Jack Tenant came up with the idea of collecting one ton of pennies and Cochrane and the surrounding area ran with it. On Sept 29th 2,900 lbs had been collected, taken to ATB in a chuck wagon, guarded by a cowboy posse and members of the RCMP. Due to the generosity of Cochranites, in donating their pennies, at 5.30pm on Friday October 5th, on the turf at Spray Lake Sport center, a cheque for $6,100 was presented to representatives of Right To Play.

By then, all the players had been at the center since 4.00pm and were itching to get going. Those in the black shirts were the "Eh Team". They consisted of Daran Fletcher, Cecily Woolrich, Jason Smith, Denean Thorsen, Sherry Grund, Dena Sykes, Dee Dee Cook and myself. The players in the red shirts were "Team Red Quest", consisting of Matt Wiacek, Andy Harris, David Savage, Rochelle Nydokus, Caitlin Smid, Maria Perkovic, Kira Alston and Ellen Anderson Penno. Special mention to Terry Norman who was Captain of the "Eh Team" until an old knee injury kept him from playing.

At precisely 6.00pm, the whistle went and the game was on. Michael Empric later informed us that the true test of whether a Guinness World Record attempt will succeed is the organization and documentation. Lucy Lovelock, with help from Sarah and Julie had dotted the i's and crossed the t's so that everything ran like clockwork. Volunteers turned up at the appointed time, the appropriate paperwork was satisfactorily completed and the required video evidence was recorded. For those taking part, breakfast, dinner, supper were hot and tasty and the knockout punch was the special delivery "Banana Buzz" smoothies requested from Jugo Juice. Unbelievable.

Almost two days and the final whistle, all 16 warriors emerged from battle. Injuries and fatigue took there toll but no one had quit. The final score was The Eh Team 381 and Team Red Quest 346. But it's true to say we were all winners. A Guinness World Record has come to Cochrane and over 2,600 children have been given the gift of a Right To Play program for one year.

Now that's what I call a great result.

Quote of the Day

"Football (soccer) isn't a matter of life or death, it's more important than that"

Bill Shankly, ex-Manager of Liverpool FC

Members of the "Eh Team" and "Team Red Quest" line up with GWR adjudicator, Michael Empric, after the 42 hr and 1 min soccer marathon.


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