A WHEELCHAIR sports club celebrated receiving £2,500 from the Foundation with a visit from Middlesbrough FC stars Lukas Jutkiewicz and Mustapha Carayol.
Tees Valley Wheelchair Sports Club will receive £2,500 from the Foundation after topping a public poll on Boro’s website.
The charity’s £10,000 Goalden Giveaway saw nine other community groups receive a share of the jackpot – but the Middlesbrough-based wheelies were runaway winners with 40% of the votes.
Boro forwards Carayol and Jutkiewicz visited their wheelchair basketball centre to have a go at a fast-moving, fast-growing sport that prides itself on being inclusive for wheelchair-bound and able-bodied athletes of all abilities.
Joining the Boro stars at the event were two of the Philanthropic Foundation’s patrons, Paul Davison of Erimus Insurance Brokers and David Henderson of px Group.
Head coach Lee Fawcett said the £2,500 cash boost would enable the club to buy three more specialist wheelchairs for forthcoming new satellite centres in Darlington and Hartlepool as they spread their wings from their Middlesbrough base at Acklam’s Outwood Academy.
“It’s absolutely awesome for the club to win this cash,” said Lee, a former Paralympian at both wheelchair basketball and fencing. “The kids are on an absolute high at the visit of two of their Boro heroes. We’re so grateful to the Foundation, its patrons and everyone who voted for us.
“It’s an incredibly inclusive sport and we see many of those taking part grow in confidence and self-esteem by the week. Many play it for fun but we have a national league team for those who show a real talent or want a more competitive edge to their activity.”
While Tees Valley Titans take part in the national wheelchair basketball league, the club also holds fun-based coaching sessions every Saturday for disabled and able-bodied children and adults of all abilities.
Foundation patron Paul Davison of Erimus Insurance Brokers said: “The Goalden Giveaway attracted an incredible response from a massive range of community groups and charities. It was a perfect example of why it’s so important we continue to fight for Teesside and show the rest of the country that we live in a special place.”
Also receiving a share of the Foundation’s £10,000 Giveaway were: Tees Wheelyboats Club, Redcar Development Trust, the Stockton, Hartlepool and Middlesbrough branches of the Sea Cadets, Middlesbrough District Scouts, Freebrough Academy, MAIN (Taking Autism Personally), The Unicorn Centre Riding
for the Disabled, Middlesbrough Disabled Supporters Association and South Cleveland Heart Fund.