Local athlete gets society’s backing

SUFFOLK sportswoman Caroline Maclean has been “adopted’ by Ipswich Building Society to help her in her quest for further success.

Caroline, a wheelchair basketball player based in Haverhill, has represented Team GB for more than 15 years and has competed at three Paralympic games.

Ipswich Building Society will be raising funds to support her future efforts and has pledged to raise �4,000 a year for the next three years.

Caroline, one of the most experienced female basketball players in Great Britain, represented the country at the Paralympics in Sydney, Athens and, most recently, Beijing, where she was team captain.

She is now setting her sights firmly on her fourth Paralymic Games in London in 2012.

Paul Winter, chief executive of Ipswich Building Society, said: “It is great to see a local athlete have the opportunity to perform on a global stage.

“Working towards a fourth consecutive Paralympics is an amazing achievement, and Caroline’s dedication to her sport is inspirational. We are looking forward to seeing her progress over the next three years.”

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The building society is supporting Caroline in association with Destination Gold, an initiative set up by the Suffolk SportsAid Foundation to raise money to support the talented local athletes, including some of the region’s brightest prospects for 2012.

The initiative provides Suffolk companies with the opportunity to associate themselves with a world-class athlete, giving staff members the opportunity to be part of fundraising initiatives and engaging their workforce in the spirit of the games.

Adam Baker, Suffolk County Council’s project manager for the London 2012 Games and a representative of the Suffolk SportsAid Foundation, said: “We are absolutely delighted that Ipswich Building Society have aligned their business to an incredibly hard working and dedicated athlete.

“Through Destination Gold they will not only be supporting Caroline but will also be helping aspiring athletes from across the county as they strive to achieve on the national and international stage”.

Caroline thanked all the society’s staff at a recent launch and spoke of how much it meant to her to be supported by the local community.