The Sports Foundation for the Disabled has funded some amazing projects and individuals over the last three years. Take a look at these stories for some sporting inspiration…
Zach Tandy received £644.85 in February 2020 to help him purchase a variety of discus and shot-put equipment which enabled him to continue to train and prepare for competitions, despite the Covid restrictions. In September 2020 Zach competed in three competitions improving his discus throw PB by over 7 metres. He has now been awarded Elite Athlete status by Welsh Athletics. With our support Zach has been able to compete on an even keel within Great Britain and is now 4th in the ‘All Time’ list for Senior F44 Athletes at the age of 17. Zach is now on course to be part of the Wales Commonwealth Games squad and may even represent Great Britain at the 2021 Junior World Championships and Paris 2024 Paralympics.
Melissa received £1,000 funding in February 2020 to support her travel to the World Adaptive Surfing Championships in California. Despite the threat of Covid 19 the competition took place in March 2020 to enable athletes from around the world to compete. Melissa Reid, Visually Impaired (VI) competitor, was looking to defend her title and felt the pressure and expectation. However, once in the water Melissa and her guide were able to score the highest combination throughout the week and dominated the Women’s VI Division and once again win the title.
“I’d like to say a huge thank you to the Sports Foundation for the Disabled as if it wasn’t for them I would not have been able to travel to California for the Adaptive Surfing World Championships.” (Melissa Reid)
We awarded Alex, a Sit-Ski Racer, £1,000 in May 2018 to assist with his overseas pre-season training costs in Norway and the Netherlands covering flights, lift passes and accommodation. Alex is hoping to reach the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics. His four-year training programme will see him progress from his current level at World Para Alpine Skiing Race Circuit, through to the Europa Cup Circuit, and then on to the World Cup, where he will be eligible for Team GB selection.
“The training this grant enabled me to do was absolutely key to preparing for the race season ahead, and I am now in a very good position to go into the first race of the season in November at Snow World Landgraaf…Sports Foundation for the Disabled is a wonderful organisation and making a real difference in the world of disabled and adaptive sport. The application and funding process was seamless and clearly well thought through. I am hugely grateful for the grant I received, thank you ever so much!” (Alex Slegg)
Nick received £1,000 in June 2018 to help him and his spotter to attend the Para-Archery European Championships held in the Czech Republic. Nick’s aim was to enjoy representing Team GB at such a high profile event and promote visually impaired archery. However, Nick proceeded to shoot at a high quality level and qualify for the finals day, achieving a Bronze Medal in a one-arrow shoot-off!
“I would to thank you so much for your support, the funding was a huge help for me and without it I would have struggled to achieve my financial target. The funding allowed me to compete at an international level and learn a lot about myself and make me even more determined to succeed at the top level.” (Nick Thomas)
Mount Batten Centre Charity Trust
We funded this water sports and activities centre in Plymouth in November 2016 to help them purchase a disability-specific Canoe Bell-Boat. With their funding of £888 they were able to successfully deliver Bell-Boating sessions to children with disabilities in partnership with Special Schools in Plymouth. The sessions provided an amazing water-based sensory experience and a boost to their self-confidence. The children enjoyed their time so much they joined canoe clubs in the local area. Furthermore, Mount Batten Centre Charity Trust has now established a new partnership with the disability networking organisation, ‘Friends and Families’, which has enabled them to maintain strong connections with their community.
We funded Swansea Storm Wheelchair Basketball Club in October 2016; they received £774 to develop their junior squad. The club used the funding to deliver development sessions, purchase equipment and qualify coaches. Following on from the sessions, six new players were recruited to their junior squad, and one player now represents Wales in the Under 15 squad.
“This funding has really helped us provide the specialist attention that the junior players require, which in turn gives a really bright future for their social and physical development. Whilst for the club, it gives us a great future ahead of us as when they are old enough, they can join in with the senior teams and help everyone develop.” (James Coyle-King, Secretary)
We funded Jordan Margery, International Long Distance Para Swimmer, in August 2016 to help her realise her ambition to become an Open Water Para Swimmer. Jordan received £759.99 to contribute towards competition costs and equipment. Later that year she competed in the Swim Serpentine British Open Water Championships and took gold, completing the 1.7km course in less than 26 minutes. She is now looking to compete in Europe.
We supported Para Triathlete, David Hill, at the Rio Olympics in August 2016 by contributing £1,000 to help him purchase a new time trial bicycle. Despite the tough journey to compete in the Olympics due to injury and rehabilitation, and the incredibly difficult racing conditions, David managed to finish amongst the Top 10 best triathletes in the world!
“I can’t believe what I have achieved. I’m so proud to have made history as one of the first triathletes to compete in the Paralympic Games, all performed on the stunning back drop of Copacabana beach…The belief and generosity of the Foundation charged me to reach that finish line as fast as I could, and I will be forever thankful.” (David Hill, Para Triathlete)