2008 Beijing Javelin bronze medallist Goldie Sayers was in Ipswich today (14th October) to help raise vital funding to help talented young sportsmen and women from Suffolk achieve their sporting dreams.

Sayers, from Newmarket, had an illustrious sporting career that saw her compete for Team GB in three Olympic Games and win gold and silver more than 25 times in national and international competitions. Her British record, set in 2012 with a throw of 66.17m, still stands today.

The former elite athlete was guest speaker at the Ipswich Sporting Lunch Club, held for the first time at Venue 16 in the town, where she entertained a large audience of local business leaders and professionals.

The purpose of the event was to raise funding to enable SportsAid to help more young sportsmen and women from the county with the cost of training and competing at an elite level. SportsAid’s research shows that before they become a household name, an elite sportsman or woman will spend 10,000 hours and thousands of pounds pursuing their dream. For many, SportsAid is their only means of support at a crucial time in their career before other sources of funding are available.

Sayers said “Having received SportsAid support when I was a young athlete, I know what an important job the charity does in supporting aspiring sportsmen and women. They get support to the right athletes at the right time”, adding “It’s no surprise to me that the six athletes from Suffolk who took part in the Birmingham Commonwealth Games this year, including both gold medallists, had all been supported by SportsAid.”

The Ipswich Sporting Lunch Club was founded in January 2015 and is sponsored by six Suffolk businesses – Ellisons Solicitors, Pound Gates Chartered Insurance Brokers, Ensors Chartered Accountants, StrategiQ, Handelsbanken and Beckett Financial Services.

Martin Fish from Handelsbanken, speaking on behalf of the sponsors, said “all the sponsors recognise the importance of supporting talented young people, whether in the world of business or the world of sport, so to be able to support SportsAid is a privilege. We recognise that reaching any pinnacle takes sacrifice and dedication and we hope our sponsorship can make those journeys that little bit easier for Suffolk’s sporting youngsters.”

Regional Director of SportsAid Eastern Jane Horridge said “SportsAid is extremely grateful to each, and every sponsor, and all the other businesses that attended today’s lunch, for their generous support of young sportsmen and women from Suffolk. Without them we simply wouldn’t be able to help so many young people from the county.”

Goldie Sayers was also on hand to pass on advice and guidance to Chloe Dennis, a hugely talented young badminton player from the county. Dennis is one of the many young people to be supported by SportsAid with funding raised through the lunch club. At the age of 17, she was already a national age group badminton champion and European bronze medallist. She said “it was inspiring to listen and talk to Goldie about her amazing achievements and her experiences as an elite athlete. I’m so grateful to SportsAid for all the support they have given me and to know that Goldie also received support from SportsAid when she was a young athlete is really motivating.”

To date SportsAid Suffolk has raised and distributed over £¼ million to support young people in the county.

The next lunch will take place in Spring 2023. Any businesses wishing to attend should contact Sally Peck at sally@sportsaid.org.uk for information. More information about SportsAid can be found at www.sportsaideastern.co.uk.

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