For one north-east organisation the season of giving marks the culmination of 12 months of fundraising and support for local causes. Staff at Oldmeldrum-based ETKO Sports Academy have been involved with various activities throughout the year as part of the company’s increasing focus on community and charity support.
A key move for the company in 2019 was its selection of a nominated charity, The ARCHIE Foundation, at the start of the year. The charity helps local sick children when they are in hospital or require long-term medical treatment. Over the past 12 months, the team has raised over £1500 for The ARCHIE Foundation by organising charity fitness classes, holding a children’s colouring competition, participating in the BHGE10K and throwing a family party at The Drouthy Laird in Inverurie. Team members have also donated their time by volunteering for ARCHIE initiatives, such as the charity’s Christmas grotto in Aberdeen’s Bon Accord Centre.
Jamie Smith, regional fundraising manager for The ARCHIE Foundation said: “We are thrilled to have been ETKO’s nominated charity this year. Not only did the team raise a fantastic amount to support local sick children and their families, they also helped us immensely by volunteering at our grotto. On behalf of the children, families and staff who have benefited from ETKO’s support, we’d like to say a huge thank you.”
In addition to fundraising for The ARCHIE Foundation, ETKO Sports Academy has supported 25 local community groups throughout the year via donations of vouchers, with an equivalent total value of over £500. The company’s instructors have also donated their time and expertise at charity events, including the Day at the Races extravaganza at Castle Fraser in support of North East Sensory Services. In November, ETKO Sports Academy’s young members raised £526 for Children in Need by wearing their pyjamas to class.
“Although we may be small in terms of headcount, our staff and volunteers have very big hearts,” says Laura Etko, director, ETKO Sports Academy. “The company has always supported local causes, however our increasingly focused approach in 2019 has been really successful. Our fundraising activities have brought our staff team together – and our members have been fantastic in getting behind our efforts.
“Corporate social responsibility programmes tend to be connected with big businesses, but I truly believe that all companies can do their bit, regardless of size.”
ETKO Sports Academy was founded in 2008 by former international gymnast Laura Etko and her husband Viorel (Vio), a current Veteran World Champion in wrestling and a 2014 Commonwealth Games bronze medallist. The company, which employs 21 people, is committed to helping people achieve their sporting potential and encouraging long-term participation in sport.