Sporting icon Eddie ‘the Eagle’ Edwards flew in to Ipswich on Friday (24 February) to help raise funds for Suffolk’s up-and-coming sportsmen and women. Edwards, who became the first competitor since 1929 to represent Great Britain in Olympic ski jumping, was guest of honour at the Ipswich Sporting Lunch Club at Wherstead Park.
The Ipswich Sporting Lunch Club was set up in January 2015 to raise money for SportsAid to support young athletes in Suffolk. The Club is supported by seven businesses from the Ipswich area – Pound Gates Insurance Brokers, Ensors Chartered Accountants, Handelsbanken, Ellisons Solicitors, Corbel, StrategiQ and Picasso HR.
During the Lunch Club, Edwards, in addition to entertaining a packed house, also presented a SportsAid grant to Ipswich squash player Lucy Turmel. Lucy is the stand-out player in her age group nationally having won the British Junior Closed and the English Junior Closed Championships in 2016.
She was also the top female English player at the World Junior Championships last summer and only lost to a strong Egyptian player in the third round before going on to win all her remaining matches. She is predicted to be England’s number one player at the World Junior Team Championships this summer in New Zealand.
"This grant will make a massive difference to me," said Lucy. "I am so grateful to all the businesses behind the Ipswich Lunch Club and everybody who attended today for everything they’re doing to help sportsmen and women like me from Suffolk. I can’t thank them all enough.”
Peter Tickner, from Corbel, said: “It’s not often you get the chance to listen to a genuine sporting legend but today we did just that. Eddie was inspiring and engaging and I can fully understand how he won the hearts of the world at the 1988 Winter Olympics.”
Andy Smith, from StrategiQ, added: “Lucy is a wonderful role model and athlete and we will be following her progress with interest. It’s gratifying to know that just by enjoying a good lunch with a great speaker we can make such a difference to a young sportsperson’s life.”
More than £5,000 was raised at the event. The Ipswich Sporting Lunch Club’s next event takes place on Friday 22 September when Olympic skeleton gold medallist Amy Williams MBE will be guest of honour. Details will be available on www.ipswichsportinglunchclub.co.uk soon.
The Ipswich Sporting Lunch Club Founding Businesses....
1. Pound Gates Chartered Insurance Brokers are a risk management and insurance broking organisation providing tailored risk solutions for businesses.
2. Picasso HR is a dedicated HR outsourcing consultancy providing bespoke services to its clients on either a retainer or consultancy basis.
3. Ensors Chartered Accountants is one of East Anglia's largest and most respected firms of independent chartered accountants and business advisors.
4. Handelsbanken is a full-service bank with a decentralised way of working, a strong local presence due to a nationwide network of over 190 branches and a long-term approach to customer relations.
5. Ellisons Solicitors is one of the East of England’s oldest established legal practices. They act for a diverse range of business and individual clients, charitable organisations, public authorities and corporate institutions.
6. Corbel provides a comprehensive range of IT services that range from the installation of Infrastructure Solutions (both physical and virtual), to Hosting, Disaster Recovery, Telephony Solutions and Technical Support Contracts.
7. StrategiQ is a full service marketing agency based in Ipswich. Creative services include: brand building, content marketing, web design and development, consultancy, video and photography, search marketing (paid and organic), social media, graphic design, PR, email marketing and print advertising.