Maya Price (15), who plays for Ipswich Basketball Club, became the 20th super-talented Suffolk athlete to receive support from Suffolk SportsAid in 2015.
She was a member of the England U16 Women National Team programme last season and the National Development programme for U15 Girls the year before. This season she represented the East Region in the annual Regional Development tournament before being selected for the England U17 Women’s programme.
Maya received her grant from representatives of the founding members of the Ipswich Sporting Lunch Club – Pound Gates Chartered Insurance Brokers, Crafted, Ensors Chartered Accountants, Handelsbanken, Ellisons Solicitors, Corbel and the Suffolk Institute of Directors.
Suffolk SportsAid was established in 2007 as a legacy from the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, to support individuals with cash awards in the defining early years of their careers. Since it was launched it has made in excess of 150 grants to talented athletes from Suffolk raising and distributing over £120,000. Without local fundraising these athletes would not receive any funding to help their sporting endeavours.
Others to have received support in 2015 include squash player Lucy Turmel (from Ipswich) who won gold at the European Championships, boxer Joe Kerrison (Beccles) who won silver at the European schoolboy championships and Callum Wilkinson (Newmarket) who is ranked the second best 18 year old race walker in Europe.
2015 also saw an Ipswich Sporting Lunch Club established (www.ipswichsportinglunchclub.co.uk) by seven businesses from the Ipswich business community keen to do their bit for sport in the county. The sole purpose of the club is to raise vital funding to enable SportsAid to help young sportsmen and women from the county overcome the financial challenges they face as they bid to become Britain’s next generation of Olympians and Paralympians.
The Ipswich Sporting Lunch Club becomes the second lunch club in Suffolk, following in the footsteps of a similar club in Bury St Edmunds that was launched in 2013.
2015 was also the year that superstar soprano Laura Wright became an official SportsAid ambassador. The singing sensation not only took to her bike to raise money for athletes in Suffolk by completing the route of the Women’s Tour but also completed the Great East Swim in aid of the Charity raising over £5,000 to go in to a ring-fenced fund for athletes from the county.
SportsAid research shows that on average young athletes will train 15 hours a week after school, travel more than 600 miles a month to train and compete and they will spend £6,000 a year on their sport, relying almost entirely on their families for support.
Rob Thacker from Pound Gates commented “I think I can speak on behalf of all the supporting businesses by saying we are proud to be involved with SportsAid in Suffolk. They do a wonderful job in helping talented athletes from the county and have a great track record of getting support to the right athletes at the right time. As a local business rooted in the community it’s great to play our part and help these wonderful role models to succeed.”