Norwich Sports Foundation’s disabled appeal

An appeal has been launched to raise �50,000 so sports events for disabled people can continue.

This week the Norwich City Community Sports Foundation launched its Sporting Light Appeal, to raise money for the charity’s disability projects. These help more than 2,000 disabled children and adults each year take part in sport, education and health programmes.

Fundraising events began this week and have seen pupils from Norfolk and Suffolk schools travelling 108 miles (174km), which is the distance between Carrow Road and the Olympic stadium in London, in various ways.

Throughout the week the children will be joined by professional sportsmen including Paralympic shot-putter Danny Nobbs and Norwich City players as they jump, throw and walk the distance. The first donation of �4,000 has come from the Geoffrey Watling Charity.

Jackie Thornton, CSF funding manager, said: “We know the impact that sport can have and it’s not just about learning new sports skills.

“It’s about the confidence and self esteem that they can gain to help them move their lives on independently, the benefits to people’s health, the teamwork skills they can gain and the opportunity to meet new people”.

Denise Brown, from Gorleston, whose son Ricky, 15, has autism and severe learning difficulties, said: “I just want my child to take part in the same activities and have the same chances in life as mainstream children. I know that’s not always possible but the activities my son has been involved in make such a difference to his quality of life and development of his social skills.”

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Despite losing funding of �50,000 a year from the Football Foundation, Norwich City Community Sports Foundation is determined to continue its work supporting disability programmes. Tuesday saw Canaries stars Wes Hoolahan and Russell Martin jumping alongside 600 students from the Robert Kett Junior School in Wymondham.

Wes said: “We got an amazing cheer from the kids when we arrived, which was nice. I’m glad we could join in with the Sportathon to help out, and hopefully the Sporting Light Appeal will reach its target.”

The events have been sponsored by local businesses who have donated money and organised fundraising events. The week will culminate on Saturday before the Scunthorpe match at Carrow Road, where Delia Smith will receive cheques from participants and sponsors.