Ipswich businesses praised for helping county’s future sports stars

Lord Holmes of Richmond, MBE, has praised a group of Ipswich businesses for their ‘vital’ support for talented up and coming sportsmen and women from Suffolk.

He said, “we have a very special group of businesses here in Ipswich that have done a huge amount to support talented young sportsmen and women from the county as they battle to excel at the very highest levels”.

The remarks came at the latest Ipswich Sporting Lunch Club event, which took place at Venue 16 on Friday (15th March), in the presence of 175 local business leaders.

Lord Holmes, who was guest speaker at the event, is Britain’s most successful Paralympic swimmer of all time with nine gold medals. He won an unprecedented six gold medals at the Barcelona Paralympics. He also gained a string of World and European titles, broke 35 world records and, at the age of just 20, was awarded an MBE for services to British sport.

Later, he became Director of Paralympic Integration for London 2012 and, in recognition of his contribution to the country, he was invited by the Prime Minister to enter the House of Lords.

Lord Holmes was quick to single out the lunch club sponsors for praise, saying “with the spotlight starting to fall on this year’s Olympic and Paralympic Games in Paris, it reminds us all of the huge effort, sacrifice and expense that athletes have to go through to compete on the greatest stage of all.”

Long before they get any national funding or sponsorship, the cost burden generally falls on the bank of mum and dad. The fact that eight local businesses are prepared to work with SportsAid Eastern on an ongoing basis, to raise money to help local athletes, is great credit to them and speaks volumes about how much importance they place on supporting their local community.”

The businesses praised by Lord Holmes all sponsor the Ipswich Sporting Lunch Club. They are Pound Gates Chartered Insurance Brokers, Ensors Chartered Accountants, Ellisons Solicitors, StrategiQ, Beckett Financial Services, Handelsbanken, Fenn Wright and Waller Transport.  Since the club was established in 2015, their fundraising has directly enabled SportsAid to make 84 grants to young sportsmen and women from Suffolk.

Julian Outen, a Partner at Ellisons Solicitors, responded to Lord Holmes, saying “On behalf of the sponsors, I’d like to thank Lord Holmes for his kind comments. It’s always flattering to receive comments like this, especially from such an esteemed person as Lord Holmes. As sponsors, we all recognise the importance of helping talent to grow and flourish, not only within our own organisations but also in the wider community.”

As part of proceedings, Lord Holmes presented three young Suffolk athletes with SportsAid grants. They were:

  • Joe Fortnum-Adams, from Ipswich, who is the reigning British Para Under 19 table tennis champion.
  • Stan Chevous, from Rendlesham, who represented England at the Commonwealth Youth Games in Trinidad last year in the 400m and 4 x 400m mixed relay, where he won a silver medal.
  • Jude Gunner, from Middleton, who won gold at last month’s British Para Swimming Winter Meet in the 100m butterfly and has qualified, in six events, for the Paralympic trials and British Championships in April.

Jane Horridge, Director of SportsAid Eastern, reinforced Lord Holmes comments, adding “the businesses behind the Ipswich Sporting Lunch Club are making a real difference. Through their efforts they’re helping to further Suffolk athletes and improve sporting outcomes, not only for individuals, but also for the nation. They have my heartfelt thanks.”

Ipswich Sporting Lunch Club sponsors include:

  1. Pound Gates Chartered Insurance Brokers are a risk management and insurance broking organisation providing risk solutions for businesses.
  2. Ensors Chartered Accountants is one of East Anglia’s largest and most respected firms of independent chartered accountants and business advisors.
  3. Ellisons Solicitors is one of the East of England’s oldest established legal practices.  They act for a diverse range of business and individual clients, charitable organisations, public authorities and corporate institutions.
  4. StrategiQ is a full service marketing agency based in Ipswich. Creative services include: brand building, content marketing, web design and development, consultancy, video and photography, search marketing (paid and organic), social media, graphic design, PR, email marketing and print advertising.
  5. Beckett Investment Management Group – chartered financial planners providing a holistic service to private individuals seeking investment options through to HR managers looking to provide healthcare cover to their people.
  6. Handelsbanken – a local relationship bank, built on satisfied customers, financial strength and sustainable values.
  7. Waller Transport is a specialist road haulage & logistics solution company offering a comprehensive service across the whole of the UK, Europe and Worldwide.
  8. Fenn Wright – is the region’s leading, independently owned firm of chartered surveyors, estate agents and property consultants. 

SportsAid – Supporting the sports stars of tomorrow today

Before they become a household name, an elite sportsman or woman will spend 10,000 hours and thousands of pounds pursuing their dream. Many are forced out long before it comes true.

SportsAid makes it possible for young athletes to pursue their dreams, so that – like 18-year-old Steve Redgrave in 1980 and 13-year-old Kelly Holmes in 1983 – they can one day go on to inspire a nation.

At the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games the charity’s alumni won 141 medals. This included 47 of Team GB’s 65 medals (14 gold, 19 silver, 14 bronze) and 94 of ParalympicsGB’s 124 medals (26 gold, 33 silver and 35 bronze). At the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games SportsAid alumni won a total of 139 medals – 40 gold, 54 silver and 45 bronze – across 18 sports. Previous beneficiaries of the charity’s support contributed to 61% of the podium finishes from the Home Nations in Australia.

SportsAid in Suffolk

SportsAid Suffolk was established in 2007 as a legacy from the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, to support individuals with cash awards in the defining early years of their careers.  Since it was launched SportsAid Suffolk has made in excess of 200 grants to talented athletes from the county distributing over £250,000.  SportsAid Suffolk is proud to have supported six of Suffolk’s London 2012 participants including both medallists (boxer Anthony Ogogo and powerlifter Zoe Newson), Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games medallists Chris Walker-Hebborn and Harry Martin and all Suffolk’s representatives at the 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Share This

Sign up for your free copy of the magazine

Sign up to receive your free hard copy or E-Copy of the magazine by post or email.