Sporting legends join
Community Trust to help raise ₤21,000 for a new 'HITZ' minibus
A quartet of British sporting legends joined
forces with Sale Sharks at a special dinner to raise money to buy a minibus to
support a life changing community programme.
Former England footballer John Barnes, Olympic gymnast Beth Tweddle, rugby
league legend Paul Sculthorpe and former Sharks star Mark Cueto were on hand at
Manchester's Innside Hotel as ₤21,000 was raised for the Sharks' HITZ programme.
Guests forked out for auction prizes including rugby boots worn and signed by
World Cup winner Jason Robinson, hospitality tickets for a match at Manchester
United's Old Trafford stadium and a leotard signed by Tweddle. And the:- 'Evening
with Sporting Legends' night was rounded off by John Barnes, who performed
his 1990 'World in Motion' rap to the delight of the 200 strong audience.
Delivered across:- Manchester, Cheshire, Lancashire, Merseyside and Cumbria by the
award winning Sale Sharks Community Trust, HITZ uses rugby to increase young
peoples' resilience, self reliance and confidence.
It gives them the skills to get back into education, vocational training,
apprenticeships and employment.
The money raised at the event will pay for a new minibus to help trust staff
take vulnerable young people to HITZ sessions across the North West.
2 young people who came through the programme and have since gone on to full
time employment took to the stage at the event.
Cameron Healey and Lacey Marshall, both 18, told how HITZ had changed their
lives and helped them achieve their dream jobs. And then it was over to the
legends for an on stage question and answer session, with host, BBC 5 Live's Rachel Burden.
"It was a fantastic night and we're really happy with the amount of money
that we managed to raise. The new minibus will help us take these young people from difficult
situations to places where our coaches can help them." said Jonny Acheson, Sharks Community Manager.
Lacey, from South Manchester, added:- "HITZ has changed my life. Before I
started on the programme I was the sort of person who stayed in bed all day. Now
I work in the Civil Service, doing a job I love."
Among the guests were a number from Barclays Bank, who had agreed to match,
pound for pound, any money raised on the night.
Jonny added:- "We're so grateful to our legends and to everyone who gave so generously and in particular, to Barclays, who matched everything we raised. The HITZ programme has already had some fantastic results but
we're not resting on our laurels. With this money we can continue to make a
difference to lives right across the North West."
5 Live Breakfast presenter Rachel Burden said she was 'honoured' to be asked to
host the event. "It was a brilliant event, supported wonderfully well by
the legends. It was such a privilege to be involved and I'm so glad we managed
to raise enough money to buy the minibus. I know it'll make a huge difference to
the lives of so many young people."