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Cycling through England and Wales to see YOU!
(My "ordinary" profile is below but between May and September 2010 I am doing something "extraordinary")
Hi, My name is Steve Hall. I am a Brit who lives in Spain and who loves football.
My plan is to cycle to all the 92 football league clubs in England and Wales between May and September 2010. This blog follows my progress. I have currently completed 78 grounds .... so just a very few to do.
Why am I doing this? My aim is very clear.
1) I want to help to raise awareness for the world's 45 million refugees. I am not looking to raise money. I am simply focused on raising the level of awareness for this huge global issue.
2) I have been a member of Ecademy for over four years and I have thoroughly enjoyed my life "on the outside" I have decided that now it is time to commit. Whilst I am cycling through the UK, I aim to meet A MINIMUM of 1,000 Ecademists and if you are in England or Wales I hope to see you.
Why, I realise that there is much to Ecademy that I am not benefiting from, I "get" Ecademy but have not, in all honesty "got" Ecademy. Meeting you all will be the icing on the cake!
During the summer of 2009 I started to help my great friend and former professional footballer Bjorn Heidenstrom on his mission to cycle from Oslo to South Africa to raise awareness of the world's 45 million refugees who have no home and little hope. His chosen partner is the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees He is currently in Tanzania after 9 months of cycling through Europe/Africa) I introduced him to Ecademy (please say "hi" and spent 6 weeks in Spain as his back-up).
How does he raise awareness? Simple, he collects shirts from all the clubs he visits and encourages those he can't get to to forward their shirt. They will be sewn together to form the world's biggest ever shirt which will be on display during the World Cup in South Africa this summer. The Guinness Book of Records have been advised and Steve and Bjorn have already received massive support from FIFA, UEFA and hundreds of clubs from the VERY biggest (Barcelona, Manchester United, Manchester City, Liverpool etc) to the most humble level 7 clubs in hamlets in deepest Latvia.
The media awareness has been ENORMOUS and several Ecademists have had a key role. I must thank in particular Penny Power and Cornelis/Jan in the Benelux. Without their support I fear Björn´s task would have been much more difficult. THANKS!
Back to me, I feel that I have been blessed in life and aside from surviving a few ex-wives and a few health scares over the past twenty years, life has been sweet I have been moved by Bjorn's mission and so I have taken up the mantle himself, to raise awareness of the mammoth task that exists for refugees all around the world. There are 45 million - they outnumber the population of Spain!
So, on May 20th at the London Ecademy meeting I am off on my bike to help support Bjorn's cause and re-enforce his efforts. My objective is to travel to England and Wales and visit all the 92 football league grounds ("doing the 92" as it is called), starting in London and finishing at the Ecademy cricket match in Southend on September 5th. I´ll be cycling some 30-40 miles per day cycling over 3,000 miles!
I am NOT looking to raise money. That is NOT what the UNHCR wants. My aim is to create awareness. I gave my first newspaper interview this week and I think the Coastrider quoted me well,
"So how can you help? Steve is not asking you to put your hand in your pocket and give to charity. His only requirement is to cover his expenses, which he estimates at around £20 per day.
His plan of action is to start in London where he is meeting representatives of the Premier League, the Football League, the Football Association and the Football Conference, to collect their endorsements. Once completed it's time to hit the road and visit all the 92 league grounds in the English League (and many other semi-pro/amateur grounds along the way). Although Steve had ambitions to play professional football as a kid and also played Rugby League at a good standard, he's the first to admit that for the last 30-years his athleticism has been mainly chasing debtors and stepping out to get a breath of fresh air from behind a computer screen!
Steve says "What would be great is if I can meet football supporters and those concerned about the refugee issue as I travel through England and Wales. I look forward to seeing as many of you as possible en route and if you can supply me with a signed Football or T-Shirt from your local team, that will be added to those already collected and join the World's Largest Ever T-Shirt at this year's World Cup. Ecademist Pete Clark has kindly provided and hosted my "Doing the 92" web-site and I will use Ecademy,FaceBook and Twitter (@doingthe92) for regular updates."
If you'd like to become involved, meet with Steve, supply a shirt, help with the logistics, introduce him to local media, TV, radio, newspapers, provide a bed for the night, a hot cuppa tea or a bottle of water, all and any help would be appreciated. This is where YOU come in!
Steve continues, "We have learned much from Björn's trip and the fact is that it is not the cycling that is the most difficult. No, it's everything else. It's local knowledge, it's advice on where and when to meet football fans, it's access to wifi or a sofa. It's sending a fax or uploading some photos and most important, we need shirts. New, old, worn, torn! It does not matter. We just need shirts in numbers. Please find one, sign it and get your friends/team-mates to sign it and send it off to the address below.
I need to meet fans as I travel the country. I need to hear your stories about the teams you love and I need to tell you my story about the refugees. If you have a spare bed/sofa/somewhere to shower that would be great too! I need contacts with all the local newspapers and radio stations as I travel the country. If you have a contact at any newspaper group or in a local radio station I would really appreciate it. I can do exclusive content for your site, magazine or club. "How far has my shirt got this week?"
If you have contacts at schools, churches, clubs/charities where I can give a talk that would be fantastic. It does not matter whether it is two, two hundred or two thousand, I would be happy to meet them Finally, please do the most simple thing. Tell your friends about this project and this site. Send them an email, send them a text or contact your friends on Facebook, Twitter etc."
And so; Steve Hall, a man with his own mission to help in whatever small way he can to raise awareness of the plight of the world's refugees, all of whom could use a little help from you and I.
For more information please visit www.theshirt2010.co.uk and send any shirts to The Shirt, 1 Shipley Road, Tynemouth, North Shields, Tyne and Wear, ENGLAND, NE30 2SB or give them to Steve in person during his trip."
So, Ecademists, I am coming to see you. I will be at numerous Ecademy events throughout the four months and if you are within striking distance of any of the 92 grounds PLEASE get in touch and we can have a coffee or a water.
I look forward to getting at least ONE THOUSAND signatures on the Ecademy shirt!
My key area of expertise is placing products or services into the expat markets of Spain. Successful projects to date include insurance, telephony, alarms, language courses and exhibition services. I have big networks of end users and distributors among expat residents especially on the Costa Blanca. I am always happy to discuss any potential activity with this user group.
I have tried to help many of the thousands of British and Northern Europeans who emigrate to Spain to settle in - we have organised Newcomers Clubs meetings, forums, free Spanish lessons and expat exhibitions. I have written extensively about life as " a new immigrant" in the expat press and I am regularly interviewed on English-language radio.
The backbone of this is an English language portal www.thisisspain.info which I have developed over many years and which I am trying to expand into a respected source of information about expat life in Spain. I am always looking for additional content and I am always happy to offer all Ecademy members free links or editorial space to www.thisisspain.info Just send me any links, articles, anything. As long as it relates to Spain or the Spanish it has a place on the site. No cost - my pleasure. Obviously, I am always looking for quality links to other appropriate sites. Please contact me if you can oblige.
I am also currently launching eight new Spanish property portals in English, Spanish, Norwegian, Swedish, Danish, Dutch, German and French. I would welcome contact with any professional estate agents who are active in the Spanish property market. The English language and the Spanish language sites are nearing completion www.searchspainonline.infowww.todaslascasas.net the Scandinavian sites will follow soon.
I am working on the admin for Bjorn Heidenstrom who is cycling from Oslo to South Africa to raise awareness of the plight of 4 million refugees. This incredible journey will cover 50+ countries over 10 months and will end with the shirt being flown high and proud at the World Cup 2010 in South Africa. Now, every single Ecademist can help. We are looking to sew together a HUGE shirt from 1000s of individual shirts from around the world. You are NOT being asked for a single cent, penny or rupee. Just your wishes .....and contacts at ANY soccer club ANYWHERE in the world. Please check Bjorn Heidenstrom to learn more of this incredible project.
We also want to know how to say "good luck" and "football" in 2010 languages. I'll kick off with "Mucha suerte, lycka till, bonne chance, viel glück"
Much of this above costs me money so I indulge my other passion -- video - in the commercial world. Video is BIG 11,5 Billion videos were watched online in March 2008.
* US Internet users viewed 11.5 billion videos online during the
month of March 2008, a 13% net gain over February 2008 and over 64%
gain over 12 months ago.
* 139 Million U.S. Internet users watched an average of 83 videos
per viewer in March 2008.
* 73.7% of the total U.S. Internet Audience viewed video online
during the month of March.
* 84.8 million viewers watched 4.3 billion videos on YouTube, alone!
Are you taking advantage of this extraordinary growth? How can video e-mail revolutionise your business?
Quite simply video e-mail allows you to spend more face time with your customers .......................without leaving your desk. It has endless applications - a product or service launch, details of special offers, social greetings, updating contact lists, keeping in regular contact with customers/prospects, promoting your brand................ The list just goes on. Not only is this affordable but you can SAVE YOU MONEY too by proving to yourself what works and what does not work from your current advertising.
I have a special offer to all Ecademy members: I will make a personalised template for you incorporating your logo, banner, url and contact details so you can test the power of video email AT ZERO COST for one week. You can send out 5,000 video e-mails to promote your business completely free of charge and with absolutely no commitment. This will enable you to see some of the more obvious benefits of video e-mail and how it can improve your business