WILTSHIRE'S girls under 14 football squad have slammed one in the back of the net for mental health charity MIND.

In a three week fitness challenge, they raised more than £2,800.

The idea was the brainchild of squad member Maddie Hines: "In our team, many of us know a key worker who is doing an amazing job in these challenging times," she said. "As a team we all decided to show what they meant to us by challenging ourselves to run and raise money.

"We thought this was perfect because not only does it help key workers it also benefits our fitness, making sure we come back fit and ready when football is back on. Everyone in our team has done amazingly well so far. They have all planned their own routes and I think they have shown strength resilience and determination at this difficult time."

Joe Foley who is the lead U14 coach added: "It is hugely impressive that the girls used their initiative to challenge themselves both as individuals and also as teammates while in lock-down. To raise more than £2,000 in the first week is an amazing effort and credit to them all. We look forward to congratulating them in person as soon as its possible."

Tim Hall, senior football development officer, who leads on girls and women’s football at Wiltshire FA said: "We are extremely proud of the girls for their continual commitment to the sport, but for also being aware and contributing to wider societal challenges – both with COVID 19 and mental health. On a week when the FA have announced that participation figures have doubled in the female game since with 2017, with more than 3.4m active female players – we hope that we can all get back playing soon and share even more good news stories."

"We can’t thank each and every one of you enough for choosing to do this challenge and helping us provide support for those with mental health problems," said Lucia Martinez, Mind's fundraising officer. "You have raised over £2,800 already which is an incredible achievement, you should all be extremely proud – Thank you!"

The girls are, Jasmine Kennedy, Millie Powell, Poppy Norcott, Jemima Lister, Darcy Cox, Georgia Galley, Millie Bellotti, Ruby Hopkins, Elise Haines, Isabel Wilkins, Maddie Hines and one other – all aged between 12 and 14 years old