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Suffolk's Olympians of the future given funding boost

PUBLISHED: 15:52 25 March 2019 | UPDATED: 08:12 26 March 2019

Eight of Suffolk's international sporting hopefuls have been awarded a funding boost from national charity SportsAid. Pictures: SPORTSAID SUFFOLK

Eight of Suffolk's international sporting hopefuls have been awarded a funding boost from national charity SportsAid. Pictures: SPORTSAID SUFFOLK

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Eight of Suffolk’s most talented young sportsmen and women have been given a huge helping hand with the future careers thanks to a charity funding boost.

The athletes, including an England under-18 international hockey player and a paralympic powerlifting world cup gold medalist, were awarded £1,000 each by the Suffolk branch of SportsAid at Ipswich Town Football Club last week.

All of the great eight have represented their country in international competitions, ranging from rowing to basketball, golf and beyond.

The latest batch of future stars are Phoebe Hayden (rowing), Oliver Juszt (hockey), Nathaniel Wilding (paralympic powerlifting), basketball trio Susannah Rafu, Ella Pearson and Esther Little, and golfing duo Habebul Islam and Lily May Humphreys.

The funding boost comes as part of the charity’s twice yearly sporting lunches, which invite local businesses to support young athletes in the county.

Phoebe Hayden, from Stowmarket, part of the British rowing women’s under-18 squad, said: “Receiving this award means so much to me, and I am so grateful for the support of SportsAid.

“It really does make a difference to me every day, allowing me to get the best out of my training programme and continue to compete at elite level.”

Adam Baker, a trustee with SportsAid Eastern, said: “A SportsAid athlete and their family will spend over £7,000 each year in meeting the costs of their sport. “Without the charity’s support, many of these young prospects, typically aged 12 to 18, would face a tough decision on whether to continue training and competing.

“In Ipswich six local businesses have put in a huge amount of effort to raise money to enable SportsAid to support more young people from the county.”

Malcolm McGready, partner with Ensors Charted Accountants, one of the six business supporting the charity, said: “I know I speak for all the businesses involved in the Ipswich Sporting Lunch Club when I say we are proud to support this wonderful cause and help Suffolk sportsmen and women to fulfil their potential.”

The Suffolk-based division of the charity, formed in 2007, has previously supported big name athletes such as London 2012 bronze medalist boxer Anthony Ogogo from Lowestoft, and Bury St Edmund’s Rio 2016 silver medalist swimmer Chris Walker-Hebborn.

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