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August 2019 Tetbury Lions sponsor Freddie Aplin

Where do you find a primary school boy that has competed in an Olympic stadium?  Where do you find such a boy that is ranked as a European Champion?  Where do you find such a boy that has competed in a World Championship event?  The answer is Tetbury and the boy is 10 year old Freddie Apples.

The story starts when Freddie was just three years old handling a scooter beyond his years in what was then regarded as a toy that most children enjoyed.  The building of the skate park in Tetbury allowed a quantum leap in developing what is clearly a natural talent, given his rapid progress in the sport.

With talent, progression comes quickly.  Earlier this year Freddie qualified to compete in the under 12 category of the European Championship, an event he won making him the under12 European scooter champion.  As a result he qualified for the World Roller Blade Championship and received a coveted “Golden Ticket” invitation to compete at the highest level at the Palau Sant Jirdi stadium in Barcelona.  This invitation is only offered to 14 individuals in each category around the world; a measure of the magnitude of the achievement of this ten year old boy who was by far the youngest competitor.  Despite the intimidating environment and against competitors much older than him, Freddie finished a very commendable 10th.

So what is next for this talented young lad.  Later this month he competes in the qualifying round of the UK Under 12 championship and if he is successful he will proceed to the finals to be held in Corby in November.

His scooters are now custom made and take a lot of punishment given the amount of necessary airborne work required at competition level.  Consequently he gets through at least two scooters a year relying on the Bank of Mum and Dad and a sponsor for spare parts.  Tetbury Lions are proud to have helped his ambitions and wish him well for the future.

 

April 2019 The Community Gift Card

Following on from the strong support provided by Tetbury Lions for the local Food Bank, the Club has extended this initiative by creating a Community Gift Card. Targeting those in need is perhaps our greatest challenge and this scheme sits well with our “We Serve” motto and the Club’s ideology of offering direct help to people in the local community.

In the build up to Christmas; the local butcher set aside for this project twenty large mixed hampers and ten smaller ones. Gift cards, clearly numbered and identifying the type of hamper, were issued by the Food Bank, each with instructions on the collection procedure. All the food hampers were distributed and the response has been very positive. A single mum said the hamper was like a gift from heaven, a large family with a dad who was the bread winner, unable to work and claiming emergency benefits were reduced to tears and some shared their hamper and cooked for other neighbours who were on their own.

The Gift Card scheme is not just for Christmas, they will also be issued by the Food Bank or other frontline organisations (social prescriber, schools, doctors, community nurses) for specific events in the town throughout the year, primarily for the benefit of the needy young and old. Each card will be uniquely numbered and issued in batches so that the Lions Club can monitor take up. They will be issued on an individual basis to be handed in at the participating event in exchange for entry. The Community Gift Cards will be distributed at varying times of the year to tie in with local events. Payment for any event for a block booking will be either through joint sponsorship or directly funded by the Tetbury Lions.

Tetbury Lions are now confident they have a proven method of ensuring that the benefit goes directly to where it is most needed in the community.

 

The Willberry Wonder Pony charity

 Founded by Hannah Francis in March 2016 the Willberry Wonder Pony Charity is a challenge for middle aged, wimpy riders.  Hannah was a hugely talented young event rider but diagnosed at 17 years old with osteosarcoma, a rare form of bone cancer.  She subsequently endured many months of painful and debilitating treatment, fighting the disease with extraordinary courage and dignity.  Sadly she passed away the following year.

The Willberry Wonder Pony charity was founded in her name to fulfil two principal objectives.  Firstly, to fund significant research into osteosarcoma.  Secondly, to provide equestrian experiences (“Willberry’s Wishes”) to seriously ill people and their families in the hope that these experiences inspire others in the same way as they did Hannah and so bring a little happiness and hope during the darkest of times.  Established as a separate equestrian event, the “Wobbleberry” challenge is a key fundraiser for the charity and encourages non-eventers to challenge themselves to compete in a British Eventing competition.  The challenge comprises three phases, a dressage test, a round of show jumping and a cross country course.  If a competitor fails to complete the show jumping, they cannot go forward to the cross country.  Now an annual event the charity has so far raised nearly £270,000, with over 1,200 people having signed up.

With a Club member undertaking the Wobbleberry challenge in few months time, Tetbury Lions are donating £2,000 to support this charity.

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