MIDDLESBROUGH Powerchair Football Club have described a £5,000 charity win as “like winning the World Cup” after they top-scored in Teesside Philanthropic Foundation’s Sporting Golden Giveaway presentation at Boro’s Riverside Stadium.
The charity gives away £20,000 each year to 15 dedicated Teesside sports groups and projects selected by its patrons.
And Middlesbrough Powerchair Football Club hit the back of the net as they landed the biggest prize of the event – a cheque for £5,000 – after finishing top of an online vote as the most-deserving club on the list.
The club, which is based at the Rainbow Leisure Centre in Coulby Newham and is open to severely disabled players of all ages, received their cheque from foundation patron Michael Powell of Cleveland Cable Company.
“This really is like winning the World Cup for us,” said head coach Carolyn Bean. “We went to the event knowing we’d receive at least £500 but we were absolutely delighted to win the top prize.
“It’s fantastic to know we have the community behind us, as so many of them voted for us.
“We can now buy one of the specialist wheelchairs we use in our sport, which are unfortunately incredibly expensive.”
Middlesbrough were North East Premiership powerchair champions for a second year running last season, while they also finished eighth in the National Premiership and their reserves came seventh in the National Championship.
More than 35 members from across Teesside and beyond attend weekly sessions with the club.
Carolyn was joined at the awards by player-coach Cath McNicol, along with players including Ryan Dack, Owen Swift, Dylan Pearson and Jonny Howsley.
This year’s shortlisted finalists represented a wide range of sports including netball, swimming, weightlifting, football, cheerleading, martial arts, zumba, cricket, circus skills and boxing, as well as powerchair football.
Second-placed Boro Rangers Adults football team received a cheque for £2,500 from foundation patron David Carter of Carter Steel after finishing runners-up in the poll. The funds will go towards kit and travel expenses for players from some of Middlesbrough’s most disadvantaged wards.
And third-placed Guisborough Swimming Club received £2,000 towards starting blocks, a starting ledge and reel needed for swimmers of all abilities and social backgrounds. Another of the charity’s patrons, Nigel Willis from First Choice Labels, handed over their cheque.
Twelve further local sports clubs and groups also received a valuable financial injection as they shared between £500 and £1,500 each.
The £20,000 fund was made available by the many generous Teesside businesses and individuals who support the Philanthropic Foundation as patrons.
The other winners were:
- Allstars Netball – £1,500 presented by Emma Foxley, Archers Law, for kit, equipment, court and umpire fees for a club offering all levels of netball across Middlesbrough, Thornaby and Hartlepool.
- Whinney Banks YCC – £1,500 from John Wade of RMB Auto, for rain coats and tracksuits for kids from socially deprived areas of Middlesbrough.
- Guisborough Ladies & Girls FC – £1,000 from Sue Theobold, Barclays Middlesbrough, towards kit, first aid stores and equipment for a football club expanding to offer girls’ football.
- Village Primary School, Thornaby – £1,000 from Dave Nicholson, Nicholson Transport, towards outdoor gym equipment to promote healthy lifestyles to children and their parents.
- Middlesbrough Weightlifting Club – £1,000 from Zoe Traherne, InBond, for a Skippers Lane-based club, at the heart of Grangetown, Thorntree and Brambles Farm, needing more equipment for those from disadvantaged areas.
- Redcar Cricket Club – £750 for the community hub to repair its facilities for those with disabilities.
- Redcar Amateur Boxing Club – £750 from Alisdair Beveridge, The Build Directory, for gloves, head guards and safety equipment for club that helps keep kids off the streets.
- Zi Shiying Tang Soo Do – £750 from Liam McGuiness, Middlesbrough Football Club, for Billingham-based martial arts and self-defence club to buy mats so they can expand to offer services to more including those with special needs.
- Guisborough Cheerleading Club – £750 from Zoe Traherne, InBond, towards the costs of travel and entry fees for European Championships for a club that also focuses on trampolining, gymnastics and running.
- Hand In Hand Activities – £500 from Harriet Spalding, Mandale Group, for venue and coach hire for a Stockton group offering ‘Golden Zumba’ to vulnerable adults aged 50-89.
- DZ Circus School – £500 from John Wade, RMB Auto, towards new equipment to allow the club to reach out to more vulnerable Teessiders.
- Epic Teesside – £500 from Liam McGuiness, Middlesbrough FC, towards a holiday programme, equipment and building upgrade for Stockton group offering angling, sea fishing and football to disadvantaged youths.