Paralympic champion raises funds for swimming club

Josef Craig and members of City of Sunderland Swimming Club with Asda Washington Trading Managers Alex Smith and Dean Holliday

Josef Craig and members of City of Sunderland Swimming Club with Asda Washington Trading Managers Alex Smith and Dean Holliday

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SOUTH Tyneside swimmer Josef Craig showed off his medal haul to shoppers as part of a day of fundraising for his swimming club.

The 2012 Paralympic Games champion from Jarrow, who has cerebral palsy, was one of a number of young people helping to pack bags at Asda, in Washington, at the weekend.

They were raising money for City of Sunderland Amateur Swimming Club – where they are all members – to help pay for new equipment.

The club, which has a number of swimmers who will be taking part in the British championships, relies on fundraising and donations.

Josef, who shot to fame when he took gold in the 2012 Paralympic Games, in London, in the S7 400m freestyle, and later in the World Championships, said: “Since joining the club things have been going really well.

“I am constantly improving in the pool, and the club itself is great, so it’s really good I am able to come down and support the club in raising some money.

“I’ve had quite a lot of people coming over and having a look at the medals and having their pictures taken with them.”

The bag pack was arranged as part of a number of fundraising ventures by the club.

Susan Maners, part of the fundraising team, said: “We need to raise funds for equipment for the swimmers as well as for training camp in October.

“We don’t have a main sponsor, but we have some fantastic athletes with so much talent who have the ability to go far in the sport.

“Swimming is still very much under-rated but yet we have some people getting up at 4.30am in the morning to go training before school and after school. Fundraising is so important to help keep our club going so if anyone can help, it would be really appreciated.”

Asda community life champion, Maureen Wallwork, said: “A lot of the children had their photographs taken with Josef and his medals, and the young people seemed to enjoy themselves carrying out the bag packing.

“They really are a credit, giving up their weekend to raise money for their club.”

Anyone who would like to make a donation to the club or have any raffle prizes they can donate to the club is asked to email suzannemanners@sky.com

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