Boro Duo give Power Aid

November 25th, 2014
Aitor Karanka, Craig Hignett and Teesside Philanthropic Foundation patrons Karl Pemberton, Nigel Willis and Sarah McCormick with members of Middlesbrough Powerchair Football Club

Aitor Karanka, Craig Hignett and Teesside Philanthropic Foundation patrons Karl Pemberton, Nigel Willis and Sarah McCormick with members of Middlesbrough Powerchair Football Club

Aitor Karanka and Craig Hignett paid a special visit to fellow promotion-chasers when calling in to see members of Middlesbrough Powerchair Football Club.

The Boro coaching duo watched the powerchair football club’s latest training session at Coulby Newham’s Rainbow Leisure Centre before chatting to team members.

The thriving club won £2,500 and a visit from first team coach Karanka when topping a public poll run by local charitable movement, Middlesbrough and Teesside Philanthropic Foundation.

The £10,000 Goalden Giveaway saw nine other Teesside community groups win a share of the cash – but only the powerchair football club received the VIP visit.

Powerchair football allows those with serious disabilities to take part in action-packed sport through the use of specialised wheelchairs.

The Boro boss watched Hignett have a go at the sport before chatting to the team’s players, who are hoping to win promotion to the national top division this season.

Karanka said: “I had never previously seen powerchair football but it is clearly a very special sport – and great fun too.

“Craig and I were proud to represent the football club on such a great visit. The Foundation’s money could not have gone to a more deserving cause.”

Cath McNicol, coach for the powerchair football club, said they were thrilled to host the Boro staff.

“All the players have been looking forward to this visit with much anticipation ever since we topped the Goalden Giveaway poll. We are constantly striving to raise the profile of the sport and reach out to more who could benefit from it.

She added that the £2,500 won via the Goalden Giveaway would cover hire and transport costs for powerchair football sessions in local schools, for children and young people with severe physical disabilities.

“Ultimately, we’d love Teesside to have the UK’s first schools league for powerchair football. That would be incredible.”

Karanka and Hignett were joined at the training session by Karl Pemberton, Nigel Willis and Sarah McCormick, representing Foundation patrons Active Chartered Financial Planners, First Choice Labels and Visualsoft.

Active managing director Karl added: “It was heart-warming to see the smiles on evryone’s faces, so it was great to join Aitor, Craig and my fellow patrons at the event. Without organisations like the Foundation, it would be nigh on impossible for clubs like this to exist, so Active are very proud to give our ongoing support.”

Also receiving a share of the £10,000 were Teesside Samaritans, Friends of Sedgefield Harriers, Fresh Expressions, The Applegarth Centre at Laurence Jackson School, Daisy Chain, Child Deaf Youth Project, Impact Fitness Zone, Hartlepool Access Group and Volunteer Fulcrum.

The Philanthropic Foundation is currently running another £10,000 Goalden Giveaway, with the a public poll taking place to decide which of 10 Teesside good causes should receive the biggest share.

Currently topping the poll and on target to win £2,500 and a visit from Boro stars is The Trinity Holistic Centre at James Cook University Hospital. Also involved are Loftus Dolphins Swimming Club, 1st Saltburn Scout Group, My Sister’s Place, Middlesbrough Live at Home Scheme, Stockton Community Campus, Breckon Hill Community Enterprise, Pennyman Primary Academy and Billingham’s Tapshoes and Tutus School of Dance.

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