As the Paralympic elite sports stars look forward to the 2016 Games in Rio, closer to home the Eastern Blue Stars are hoping to rally supporters for its own cause, with two ways for local people to show their support for the only women’s wheelchair basketball club in East Anglia. It’s also boasts a Woodbridge player, Kate Parish!
Firstly, the club is preparing for its annual open fundraising event, to be held on Saturday 18th June at Cambridge University Sports Centre. Whether a wheelchair-user or not, potential players are invited to enter a team of up to eight people to take part in the round robin tournament which will take place from 12 until 4pm. The winning team will then take on the Eastern Blue Stars current squad for the final match of the session.
Secondly, the team are very excited to announce that they have been shortlisted in the national Britain Has Spirit campaign for ‘Community Initiative of the Year’. Blue Stars are one of three groups shortlisted in the Anglia region, and if they receive enough votes to get through to the next round, they will be in with a chance of winning £25,000 of funding. If they succeed in winning the top prize, the team would use the money to offer more practice sessions at different locations across the vast East Anglia region – current players travel from across Essex, Norfolk, Cambridge and Suffolk to train together – as well as being able to provide club members with their own, specialised sports wheelchairs to improve their abilities during matches too.
Each season the club aims to raise a total of £2,000 to pay for the cost of its training sessions and travel expenses for matches. At the start of the 2015/2016 season almost £900 was collected towards this goal, money which was used to covered accommodation costs for players and carers for the team’s league matches, played in Nottingham.
Emily Scrivener, Eastern Blue Stars team manager said “We don’t receive any regular funding, and rely on our own fundraising efforts to make enough money to continue operating as a community sports club. £25,000 prize money would go so far in helping us provide purpose-built wheelchairs for our members, as well as allowing us to showcase our sport in more areas across the region to help us attract new players and involve more women and girls in disabled sport in East Anglia so they can start enjoying the benefits now; fitness, confidence, team-working to name just a few.”
To vote for the Blue Stars, just click on this link; https://www.britainhasspirit.com/, select Anglia region and then choose Blue Stars Wheelchair Basketball club and submit – there is no need to register, just three clicks could help the team secure vital funding to help them continue in their sport for the coming years.
For more information about the fundraising event, please see poster attached, or contact Emily Scrivener on 07793 652331 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to register a team.