SportsAid Week presents the perfect opportunity for currently supported athletes to share the story of their careers so far, increase awareness of the charity and raise money to continue providing financial backing to more up-and-coming sports stars. During the inaugural SportsAid Week in 2016, young athletes across the country showed their support by getting creative with their fundraising.
Mountain biker Maya Atkinson set up her own 12-hour night ride at the Gawton Gravity Club in Plymouth, dressage rider Robyn Smith put on a ‘Fit to Ride – from Novice to Grand Prix’ demonstration with her mum in East Kilbride, and rugby player Abi Burton had a bake sale at home with family and friends. Laura Gulliver, another dressage rider, offered flatwork lessons.
Freestyle skier Justin Taylor-Tipton staged a SportsAid Charity Freestyle Jam for snowsport lovers at Stoke Ski Centre, and Great Britain junior diver Emily Martin encouraged Hounsdown Secondary School in Hampshire, where she studies, to undertake fundraising activity including a dodgeball tournament, cake sales, teacher lip-sync battles and sponsored swims.
With SportsAid Week 2017 fast approaching, para-swimmer Luke Batty and skier Will Feneley recently held fundraising events as they looked to give back to the charity. Luke and his dad Mick ran a badminton competition at St James’ High School in Bolton, while Will, alongside his mum Jane and dad Dave, used a family celebration to gather donations for SportsAid.
Luke Batty, 12, from Horwich (supported by SportsAid in 2015, 2016 and 2017)
“I showed Luke a Facebook post about SportsAid Week and we talked about giving a bit back. He came up with an idea to run a staff and pupil badminton competition at his school. He decided to run two separate competitions as he thought this would raise more money. His initial target was £200 and he decided to charge staff £5 entry and year 7 pupils £3 entry. His dad teaches at St. James' so went into year 7 assembly to speak about SportsAid and how much they help young athletes. Luke and his dad recruited teachers to their tournament and made sure the information was on the school bulletin. The staff competition had 22 players and there were also 22 pupils all of whom helped to raise £329 for SportsAid. Luke organised both tournaments really well and collated all the results. He also bought prizes with his own money. He felt really proud of himself. The money SportsAid have given him has been absolutely awesome in helping to pay for accommodation and entry fees for big competitions. It has also helped to buy new equipment and pay towards his training costs.”
Will Feneley, 18, from Shereford (supported by SportsAid in 2015, 2016 and 2017)
“We chose SportsAid as one of our charities as it was Will's 18th birthday celebration in addition to Dave's 50th and our silver wedding anniversary. SportsAid has made a real difference to Will and particularly the sponsorship through Royal Bank of Canada (RBC). He has benefited greatly in financial terms, helping him to be able to get the training he needed, but also with the additional events that RBC sponsored, public speaking and meeting up with athletes from other sports. He feels very much part of the SportsAid family and it meant a lot to have someone else believe in him other than his parents. He also benefited from the RBC buddy scheme - giving him that extra personal support. We felt it fitting that we should give back and help someone in the future the same way that Will has been supported. We as a family have felt very well supported by SportsAid. We raised £310 on the evening by asking for general donations - people were very generous. Our friends all know how much SportsAid has done for Will, and it was good to be able to raise awareness of the charity too.”