Double Olympic Gold Medalist and current Olympic Champion Lizzy Yarnold was in Bury St Edmunds to get the ‘Our Bury St Edmunds’ Festival of Sport off to a flying start.
The Skeleton star was guest of honour at a special lunch at The Athenaeum in aid of national charity SportsAid and the work they do in supporting up and coming sportsmen and women from Suffolk.
Yarnold, who has won every major title in the sport of Skeleton, entered the history books earlier this year when she became the first ever Team GB winter athlete to retain an Olympic title after she won gold at the Pyeongchang Winter Olympic Games.
She said: “Training and competing at national and international level as a young athlete can be incredibly expensive with most having to rely on the bank of mum and dad to succeed. SportsAid does such a brilliant job helping our future sporting stars by providing much needed funding and recognition at a vital time in their sporting journeys.”
Yarnold was joined at the lunch by Suffolk Paralympian Jonathan Adams from Sudbury who has also received support from SportsAid.
He commented: “Every penny of support that SportsAid provides makes it easier to concentrate on training and competing and takes the worry out of buying a new piece of equipment, the cost of travel to training and competitions, entry fees or, in my case, a new orthotic. I can’t thank SportsAid enough for the support they have given me.”
The lunch was made possible thanks to generous sponsorship from Greene and Greene Solicitors, Lovewell Blake Chartered Accountants and Abbeycroft Leisure.
Warren Smyth, of Abbeycroft Leisure, said: “It’s a very easy thing for us to support an event of this nature but it can make a real difference to a young athlete from Suffolk. Supporting the local community is very important to us and through helping SportsAid we can do that effectively and efficiently.”
Brian Floringer, of Lovewell Blake, added: “We know how inspiring it is to have successful sportsmen and women in our local communities. It inspires people to be more active and creates a real sense of local pride. We hope that through our help SportsAid can help even more young sporting stars from Suffolk to achieve on the national and international stage.”
Mark Daly, of Greene & Greene Solicitors, commented: “It was a real privilege and delight to hear from Lizzy Yarnold about how she has achieved success at the very highest level and the barriers and challenges she had to overcome to get there. It’s fantastic to know that she was supported by SportsAid as a young athlete which really demonstrates how SportsAid gets support to the right athletes at the right time.”
Since it was launched in 2007, SportsAid has raised and distributed almost £200,000 to young athletes from Suffolk including some that have gone on to win Olympic, Paralympic, World, European and Commonwealth medals.
For more information about SportsAid visit www.sportsaid.org.uk
Pictured above are Olympic Champion Lizzy Yarnold with Mark Daly (Greene & Greene), Paul Milton (Lovewell Blake), Suffolk Paralympian Jonathan Adams and Warren Smyth (Abbeycroft Leisure).