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Sports boost for youngsters with learning difficulties as Special Olympics Sunderland wins £19,000

Members of the Special Olympics Sunderland preparing for the fifth annual swimming gala.

Members of the Special Olympics Sunderland preparing for the fifth annual swimming gala.

A SPORTS group has made a splash after receiving £19,000 in funding.

Special Olympics Sunderland received the hefty cheque from The Big Lottery Fund.

Cath Rooney, who runs the organisation, says the cash will make a huge difference to the lives of children with learning disabilities.

She said: “So many times when you say Special Olympics, people don’t know what you mean, so hopefully this will help to raise our profile a bit more again.

“I think the word is getting out there slowly.”

The money will be divided up and used on a number of projects including providing extra swimming classes for youngsters, funding for training facilities at the Raich Carter Centre in Hendon and to provide travel and accommodation for young members during games.

Cath said the money, the biggest single amount the charity has ever received, will not only help the club, but also the families of the children.

“What’s different about Sunderland Special Olympics is that we are mostly made up of youngsters,” she said.

“So when we go to contests, the parents not only have to pay for themselves, but also the children .

“The money will be very wisely used to try to help out with those costs.”

The charity, based in Houghton, is also looking forward to receiving a £1,000 funding boost from marathon runner Linda Brewis, 32, of Hebburn, who is set to complete her personal challenge of running 12 marathons in 12 months, this month.

Linda wanted to raise money for charity from her efforts and was told about the work of Special Olympics Sunderland by running coach Elliott Gowland.

 

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