Wiltshire Business and Sports Annual Gala Dinner proves a huge success
A record breaking £52,000 was raised last night (Thursday 14 March) at the Wiltshire Business and Sports Annual Gala Dinner at County Hall, Trowbridge, as local businesses and organisations helped to support the next generation of the county's sports stars.
The event, now in its sixth year, was held to raise money for local Olympians and Paralympians, building on the success of the 2012 and 2016 Games and looking ahead to Tokyo 2020.
Over £250,000 has been raised since the first event in 2013.
Money raised from the night will boost the Funding Future Olympians and Paralympians Foundation, which provides financial grants to local elite athletes. Successful applicants receive funding to assist with training, attending competitions, as well as paying for equipment and transport costs to regional, national and international events.
Baroness Scott of Bybrook, OBE, Leader of Wiltshire Council said: "I'm delighted that a number of local businesses have turned out yet again, to support our local athletes. Six years ago we were inspired by the fantastic performances of our local athletes at the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic games, which led to us creating the Funding Future Olympians and Paralympians Foundation. It's brilliant that we've been back every year since to support the connection between local businesses and athletes."
More than 15 businesses sponsored the dinner with over 50 supporting by donating raffle prizes. The main sponsors of the evening were MiPermit, Landmarc and CGI.
The fund was boosted by a one-off experiences auction and an elite raffle, while former swimming world champion Mark Foster compered the event and entertained the crowd with funny stories and inspirational messages.
This year's grant recipients, each receiving £1,000, were:
- Jack Alexander, rifle shooting
- Dan Bethell, para badminton
- Lauren Booth, para cycling
- Hannah Brown, sprint canoe
- Tom Gale, athletics
- Matthew Cave, athletics
- Carri Ann Dark, equestrian
- Jessica Daykin, gymnastics
- Lucy-Jane Matthews, athletics
- Emily Rowlands, hockey
- Cameron Sinden, gymnastics
- Samantha Sullivan, sprint canoe