In the second instalment of a three-fold series, ICT Channel partners united for The Big Goal’s Northern Regional Finals tournament last Friday. Vapour’s five-a-side team, captained by CEO Tim Mercer, took to Sunderland’s Beacon of Light for the occasion.

The event, sponsored by Foundation of Light, saw 10 teams go head-to-head for the winning title — including headline sponsor Giacom, ANS Group, Sky Business, Daisy Corporate Services, Firstcom Europe Ltd, PXC and Elite Group. 

Despite a gripping game against Giacom, Vapour missed the chance to compete in the knockout stage, where semi-finalists Daisy Corporate Services and Firstcom Europe Ltd., and finalists PXC and Elite Group, battled for glory. Ultimately, it was a ‘last gasp’ goal, leading to a dramatic 5-4 victory, that saw Elite Group reign as the champions.

PXC’s performance didn’t go unnoticed, however, as Darren McKnight took home the Golden Boot trophy, for scoring an incredible 20 goals on the day. Giacom’s Giacommanders also secured the Fair Play team award for their stellar performance.

“We were gutted to have not qualified, but all was not lost,” says Tim. “Supporting The Big Goal is about more than enjoying a kick about. Off the pitch, we’re helping to provide better opportunities for homeless and disadvantaged youth in the local community.

“Through the nationally acclaimed Street Soccer Academy programme, we’re sponsoring a local professional football club community organisation as part of the Autumn intake. Whether it’s sharing CV-writing tips and supporting employability skills or offering shadowing opportunities with our seasoned tech professionals, we're committed to equipping individuals with the tools and support they need to confidently step into brighter futures.”

The four qualifying teams from the Northern Regionals will be joined in the Nationals Finals later this year by Southern Regional winners Focus Group United, runners up Gamma (South), and semi-finalists Vorboss and InTEC 2. The top teams from the Midlands Regionals, yet to be determined, will complete the line-up for what promises to be an exhilarating showdown at the home of England Football, St George’s Park.

Tim concludes: “The organisation of the event has been exceptional from start to finish — a far cry from what you might expect from such a fledgling initiative. And if the regional tournaments are anything to go by, the final is set to be one for the memory books. You can bet we’ll be back to do it all again next year. Although, I realised football in your 50s hurts more than you remembered in your thirties, so it’s back to golf for the time being! ” 

Head to The Big Goal’s website to learn how you can get involved.

With sights set on further fundraising ambitions this year, we’re gearing up for two exciting new stamina-testing events to support our nominated charity, Military vs Cancer – a charity that pledges support for veterans and investment into cancer research.

Motivated by the opportunity to not only push their physical limits but also raise vital funds for the organisation, the Vapour team is proud to be plunging ourselves into the intensive Loch Lomond Challenge on 3 June 2023.

The famous landmark, located in Scotland, is known for its breathtaking landscapes and serene waters – making it a perfect location for a day of philanthropic activity in the great outdoors. 

Starting at Ardlui and ending in Balmaha, those taking part will have three options to choose from, to transit the beautiful sights – to walk 24 miles, canoe 18, or combine the two.

Commenting on the scale of the upcoming event, Graeme McCabe, cloud voice UC engineer and charity champion, commented: “This is by far the largest initiative we’ve headed up this year. And, having done a pre-event warm-up of the route myself, I can confirm it’s not one for the faint-hearted. It does, however, present an extraordinary experience for willing recruits, who are keen to make a difference in the lives of those affected by cancer.  

“We’re excited and motivated to participate in the ‘real thing’ in just a few weeks’ time, and are grateful for the continued support of our friends, family, and Vapour’s wider network, as we work towards our fundraising goals as a collective”

Graeme will be joined by Tim Mercer, our CEO, Jason Fenwick, lead cloud infrastructure engineer, and Jordan Stephenson, senior cloud and network engineer — amongst a number of other candidates — on the day of the challenge. 

The Leeds Marathon, scheduled for 28 May 2023, is another highly-anticipated event that hopes to drum up a few extra funds for Miltary vs Cancer – bringing together runners from all over the world to compete in the scenic city.

Paul Goodrick, Vapour’s voice engineer, will be lacing up his trainers and bounding across the concrete to compete for a new ‘personal best’ in the 26.2-mile course. Joined by the familiar face of former colleague Mark Taylor, we’re sure the pair will rack a handsome tally up ahead of the Loch Lomond Challenge.

Both events serve as important fundraising opportunities for Vapour to support our nominated not-for-profit, Military vs Cancer.

But it’s not just about totting up donations – it’s also about coming together as a team and making a meaningful difference in the lives of others, creating awareness, and extending hope too. 
If you would like to support our team’s upcoming efforts, you can donate through our dedicated JustGiving page, here.

Vapour CEO, Tim Mercer, has today embarked on a gruelling 286km challenge in aid of the charity Borne.

The five-day feat will see Tim complete 13km of runs, 20km of rowing and 211km of cycling, as well as the 42km Yorkshire Three Peaks climb in only eight hours!

The bold quest has been shaped to raise money for the charity that helps prevent premature birth. It forms the latest in a series of events organised by the Vapour team, as colleagues collectively strive to hit their £23,000 target, before the middle of next year.

When Tim first signed up for this mammoth challenge, he actually expected to be heading to the Caribbean Sea, to make his way west across Costa Rica on foot, bike, kayak and raft.

His original adventure – which was billed as testing the limits of participants’ physical and mental endurance – would have seen him traverse remote jungle routes, reach heights of up to 3000m, and pass coffee and sugar cane plantations, before reaching the Pacific Ocean.

But while Covid-19 put a halt to these once-in-a-lifetime plans, he was determined the pandemic would not impact on his fundraising. So, he’s swapping the jungle for the gym, and tackling most of his 286km at Reform – the on-site facility at our Huddersfield HQ.

“When I first signed up for the Costa Rica coast to coast expedition – which would have seen me tackle the 286km with the likes of Will Greenwood MBE – I knew it was going to be tough. But if it was easy, why would people sponsor me?” said Tim.

“I don’t like to do anything half-heartedly. I’ve been training for months and didn’t want the planning and effort to go to waste. So, I put my thinking cap on, and have planned my own version of the challenge, which matches the Costa Rica itinerary as closely as possible – just with slightly different scenery!

“I really hope people will dig deep and support me, whether they donate to the JustGiving page or turn up to run a few kilometres alongside me!”

To support Tim, you can donate via JustGiving and follow his progress on social media #RaiseWithVapour on Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.

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