National final of Persimmon Homes Healthy Communities contest
- Credit: LOUISE COLLINS
Suffolk Spartans powerlifting club is bidding for £200,000 in national competition finals.
Suffolk Spartans Powerlifting Club, which meets at East Bergholt High School sports centre, is in the running for a £200,000 prize to improve its facilities.
The club, formed in 2007, is open to able bodied and disabled lifters and it has grown over that time.
Suffolk Spartans is a finalist in the Persimmon Homes Healthy Communities scheme, with public voting open now.
Two of the club members paralympian bronze medalist Zoe Newson and Nathanial Wilding, who will be competing in the Commonwealth Games in Australia later this year.
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Spartans are looking for the funding to grow the club, find new premises and improve facilities for future generations.
Persimmon Homes has 29 regions and each region is supporting a different community sport project.
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So the club will be up against Inspire Suffolk, chosen by Persimmon Homes Anglia, in the final judging.
Suffolk Spartans has been chosen to represent Persimmon Homes Essex in the final and it is now up to the public to decide on the winner with online voting until March 16.
Persimmon Homes launched its Healthy Communities scheme last May, with the aim of giving £615,000 to support amateur youth sport in England, Scotland and Wales.
Thirty finalists are now competing for the top prize with the winner to be announced at a gala dinner at York Racecourse on Thursday, March 22.
One individual or group will scoop £200,000, while two runners-up will win £50,000 each. Each of the 27 finalists will win £5,000 each.
Louise Collins, from Suffolk Spartans said: “We are urging people to back us in this competition and take the time to vote as such a large amount of money would be a real game changer for our group.
“Suffolk Spartans started with humble beginnings, with little money and just three members, but 11 years on the club is thriving and those three members are still at the club today.
“We’re very proud to say Zoe Newson, who won a gold and bronze at World Championships, as well as bronze medals at both London and Rio Paralympic Games, is a member of our club. We also have upcoming members who are ones to watch for the Tokyo Paralympics.
“We want to inspire future generations of Powerlifters – no matter what age, ability or disability. If we were to win £200,000 to purchase a new premises, along with advanced equipment, it would just be unbelievable and secures the future of the club.”
Phil Standen, managing director of Persimmon Homes Essex, said: “We have been overwhelmed by the interest in the Healthy Communities scheme, and the incredible talent, expertise and dedication shown by all the organisations that entered.
“The aim of the scheme is to help create a sporting legacy, and we believe Suffolk Spartans could do this if they win the £200,000. We would urge local people to get behind this group by adding their vote online, as the work they do is tremendous.”
As part of the scheme thousands of groups and individuals applied for monthly donations of £750 to pay for kit and equipment. As part of their entry they had to say what they would spend the £200,000 on if they were lucky enough to win the top prize. Persimmon Homes Essex gave away £6,000 locally as part of this and nationally, Persimmon’s 30 businesses donated £180,000.