Ipswich businesses praised for supporting young 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.


e 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, attended by nearly 200 local business leaders.

Guest speaker Lord Holmes MBE is Britain’s most successful Paralympic swimmer of all time, with nine gold medals and a string of world and European titles.

He added, “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 sponsor of the Ipswich Sporting Lunch Club 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.”

Lord Holmes also presented three young Suffolk athletes with SportsAid grants:

  • 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, added, “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.”

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