Who are SMS?
SMS is a vibrant, international community based group that prides itself on its values, the three main components of SMS, to support, motivate and serve.
SMS was formed in the UK in 2001 by pharmacist Bobby Mehta, it was designed as a simple weekly event for friends and community members to come together and play 5-a-side football and to develop new friendships and networks. The initial idea was to have a safe and enjoyable outlet for people to expend their energy and enthusiasm whilst improving their health through sport.
During the first two years, SMS strengthened and developed a core membership of committed and enthusiastic people from a diverse range of backgrounds enjoying each others company and playing football. This commitment and enthusiasm was harnessed in an effort to integrate SMS into the community and to integrate the community into SMS. This was achieved by SMS embarking on a new phase of involvement in community and charitable activities.
As the voluntary membership grew, with SMS members encouraged to involve their friends and family members, we were able to become involved with an ever wider range of events, activities and initiatives.
In 2010, SMS reached a fantastic milestone in our history when we were nominated for, and won, a prestigious award from the Mayor of London for our charitable work in the community, especially in relation to the promotion of sports and adopting a healthier lifestyle. SMS won the prestigious award once again in 2013, further strengthening the desire to strive to work even harder to achieve our goals.
Here are just a few of the great events we have organised over the years!
Isowhey Ballarat Indian Film Festival
The Isowhey Ballarat Indian Film Festival helped to further enrich Ballarat’s annual calendar of events which make the city a great place to live and visit. The festival involved the screening of blockbuster Bollywood movies at the Regent Cinemas Ballarat every month from November 2016 to October 2017.
SMS Nepal Earthquake Relief Appeal Soccer Tournament
In 2015, SMS raised much needed funds for Oxfam Australia to support the relief efforts following the devastating earthquake in Nepal. The Charity Soccer Challenge raised $2,000 for this fabulous cause and was supported by a number of teams from the Ballarat area.
SMS Disaster Relief Soccer
In response to the destructive floods ravaging Queensland in 2011, SMS undertook one of its most ambitious projects by organising two separate football matches on the same date, one in Ballarat (Australia) and the other in Slough (UK). Both matches took place on 20th February 2011 and collectively raised an impressive £2,300 for the Australian Red Cross.
SMS Get Fit 2012
The SMS Get Fit 2012 program ran right through 2012 and aimed to promote a healthier lifestyle through participation in sport. Partnering with pharmacy chain UFS Dispensaries Ltd, SMS organised a different sporting activity for each month of 2012, ranging from table tennis to soccer, and T20 cricket to badminton.
SMS Charity Cricket Challenge
The inaugural SMS Charity Cricket Challenge took place in the beautiful setting of Home Park in Windsor (UK) in 2003. The event was an instant hit, managing to raise £1,000 for Buckinghamshire blind charity, Bucksvision. Since 2003, SMS has helped raised thousands for charities including the Berkshire County Blind Society (2007), SOS Childrens Villages (2008), Save the Children (2009) and Sightsavers International (2011).
SMS Charity Football
SMS have organised a number of football tournaments to raise much needed funds for charitable groups. The first of these tournaments took place in 2003 and raised £1,500 for the childrens charity NSPCC.
Football has always played a central role in the work of SMS, and as well as charity matches, SMS also has teams in both the UK and Australia, who play competitive 5-a-side football on a weekly basis.