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 Suffolk.
Just a few days after stepping off the plane from Rio, Zoe Newson, Ryan Crouch and Evie Edwards all attended the latest Ipswich Sporting Lunch Club event at Wherstead Park near Ipswich.
The Club was set up in January 2015 to raise money for SportsAid, the national charity for sports people, to enable them to support more talented up and coming athletes from Suffolk. SportsAid works with the governing bodies of 75 sporting disciplines, to ensure the right athletes get financial support and recognition at the right time.
The Club is supported by seven businesses from the Ipswich area – Pound Gates Chartered Insurance Brokers, Ensors Chartered Accountants, Handelsbanken, Ellisons Solicitors, Corbel, StrategiQ and Picasso HR.
The event saw Caleb Fuller (17) presented with a funding award by Derek Redmond after having been identified by Basketball England as a rising star of the basketball world.
Fuller, 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.
Commenting after receiving the grant he said “I’m very grateful to SportsAid and the businesses behind the Ipswich Sporting Lunch Club for supporting me. 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.”
All three Suffolk Paralympians attending the event are past recipients of SportsAid support. Zoe Newson, 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.