Stockport Wheelchair Racing is celebrating after one of its athletes picked up a medal in the Rio Paralympics.
Andy Small won a bronze medal in the T33 100m race, while two of his team-mates, Dan Bramall, also in the T33 100m, came fourth and Carly Tait was sixth in the T34 100m final.
Their success came following a grant from the Manchester Airport Community Trust Fund that enabled them to purchase a new racing wheelchair in the lead-up to the games.
Since it began in 1997, The Manchester Airport Community Fund has donated more than £3.25m to over 1,300 local community, social and environmental groups in Greater Manchester.
Richard Hoskins, Head Coach at Stockport Wheelchair Racing – part of Stockport Harriers – explained how the grant received from Manchester Airport allowed them to purchase a new racing wheelchair, a pricey purchase for a group who rely entirely on fundraising and sponsorship events.
He said: “Following the 2012 London Paralympics the group had an influx of athletes eager to try the sport.
“The purchase of the racing wheelchair enabled more members to train intensely, often twice a day, in the lead up to various International competitions.
“This training has certainly paid off for three of our athletes. We’re incredibly proud of Andy, Dan and Carly’s efforts at Rio and hope they inspire many more with disabilities to give athletics a try.”
Grants such as the one received from the Community Trust Fund will allow the group to train even more athletes as they prepare for the next four year cycle to the Paralympic Games in Tokyo in 2020.
Wendy Sinfield, Community Relations Manager at Manchester Airport, said: “The Manchester Airport Community Trust Fund supports hundreds of groups in the area every year.
“We are thrilled to hear that our grant has helped Stockport Wheelchair Racing train their athletes and send them to race in Rio. We encourage other groups in Greater Manchester to apply for the grant so we can support even more community projects.”