Suffolk’s three Rio 2016 Paralympic athletes joined former British, Commonwealth, European and world champion athlete Derek Redmond to raise money to support the next generation of athletes from the county. Just a few days after stepping off the plane from Rio, Zoe Newson, Ryan Crouch and Evie Edwards all attended SportsAid's latest Ipswich Sporting Lunch Club event at Wherstead Park near Ipswich.
The Club was set up in January 2015 to raise money for SportsAid to enable the charity to support more talented up and coming athletes from 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.
The event, which took place on Friday 23 September, saw Caleb Fuller, 17, presented with a funding award by Derek Redmond having been identified by Basketball England as a rising star of the basketball world. Caleb, from Ipswich, has played for England since he was 14, including representing them at the European Championships at Under-16 level.
He has once again been chosen to train with England with a view to representing the Under-18 men’s team at the European Championships in 2017. “I’m very grateful to SportsAid and the businesses behind the Ipswich Sporting Lunch Club for supporting me," said Caleb. "It’s a privilege to be recognised in this way and the funding is a massive boost.”
Andy Smith from StrategiQ said: “I’m sure I speak for all the businesses involved with the Ipswich Sporting Lunch Club when I say that we are proud to do our bit for the next generation of sporting heroes from Suffolk. People like Caleb are wonderful role models. We wish him well for the future and will follow his progress with interest.”
The three Suffolk Paralympians who attended the event are all previous recipients of SportsAid support. Zoe, who won a bronze medal in Rio, said: “SportsAid in Suffolk has played such a huge part in helping me as an athlete. Not only have they provided invaluable financial support at critical times in my career but they have also shown real belief in me as an athlete. I will always be very grateful to them.”
The next Ipswich Sporting Lunch event will take place on 24 February 2017 when the guest speaker will be none other than Eddie ‘The Eagle’ Edwards. Full details are available from Rob Appleton at Pound Gates Insurance on firstname.lastname@example.org.