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Coventry College students in Esports marathon fundraiser


A group of Coventry College (@coventrycollege) students have raised a four-figure sum for charity after playing their part in a 24-hour gaming marathon event.

Students from the College’s Esports team, the Coventry Crosshairs, recently raised more than £1,100 for SpecialEffect – a charity that helps individuals with physical disabilities to play video games.

The funds were raised after the group organised a four-and-a-half hour live streamed event – called the Coventry Crosshairs Arcade Festival – as part of the charity’s day-long gaming marathon event.

Ten gamers from Coventry Crosshairs teamed up with three other esports teams from the British Esports Association, Gower College and Queen Mary’s College to take part in the event which saw teams competing on the Overwatch gaming platform.

The 24-hour gaming marathon – known as GameBlast 21 – is the UK’s largest annual charity gaming marathon weekend that is delivered by SpecialEffect, which this year saw Coventry College’s Shoubna Naika-Taylor co-hosting the event, which ranged from interviewing players, key members of the esports community and alumni. Shoubna was also supported in co-commentary by Crosshairs head coach, Greg Naika-Taylor.

Shoubna, who is curriculum lead for Creative and Digital at Coventry College, said:

“The arcade festival was an amazing experience – especially as we could see the donations coming in as we were playing.

“As a College we have had great support from the wider esports industry over the past couple of years as we have established our presence in the gaming arena, and we wanted to try and give something back – and SpecialEffect’s gaming marathon felt like the perfect way to do just that.

“Video gaming is a powerful tool that has the potential to unite people from all backgrounds, and the work that SpecialEffect do – such as tailoring equipment to suit each individual’s needs – is enabling the video games industry to improve its inclusivity.

“No large scale live event comes without its challenges, especially for our stream manager, Jake Coote, who spent a whole day ensuring the visuals on the stream were working correctly.

“It was a fantastic team effort all round, and hopefully the money that we have raised from more than 50 people will go some way to help enrich the lives of others.”

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