STAFF and students at the Warrington Campus of the University of Chester have raised more than £150 to help a disabled sportsman to compete on the world stage.
Members of the Social Work team, at the university’s faculty of health and social care, organised a week-long book sale to raise money for Alan Izzard, a multi-discipline disabled sportsman who has been selected to represent the region and the country in activities including rugby, archery and golf.
The event, held at the Martin Building of the University’s Warrington Campus, raised more than £150 for Alan, who has supported social work education for many years. He will use the money towards travel expenses and entry fees for sporting events in the UK and further afield.
Alan, who settled in Warrington after leaving the armed forces in 2000, said: “Without this kind of generosity I would find it incredibly difficult to attend any of the training camps or compete at any of the events that I have this year.”
Senior lecturer in Social Work, Dr Valerie Gant, who organised the book sale, said: “Alan has been a staunch supporter of social work education at the Warrington Campus for many years and so we are delighted to support him with his sporting endeavours, as he gets very little in the way of commercial sponsorship.
“The book sale raised much needed funds for Alan as well as giving staff and students the chance to bag a bargain.
“I am extremely grateful to all at the Warrington Campus for their generosity and support, particularly Professor Annette McIntosh-Scott, pro-vice chancellor and provost; Michelle Fellows, executive secretary; and receptionists Elliot Booth and Dan O’Brien.”
Alan is a member of the Warrington Wolves Wheelchair Rugby League team, he shoots for the Runcorn-based Kyujutsu Archery Club and competes in golf tournaments for Help for Heroes, Battle Back Golf and the Disabled Golf Association.
In July, Alan competed – in wheelchair rugby – in the first ever national games for wounded, injured and sick veterans and personnel at Sheffield, which included the Team UK trials for the international Invictus Games 2020 in the Netherlands.
Alan said: “At the moment, the Wolves season has finished so we are in pre-season training for next year’s season opener in the Championship league.
“My archery is ongoing all year. This year I shot at the Disabled Open Championship and came 3rd in my class. I have the National Indoor Championships in December, where I’ll be competing against the country’s top archers and I also have two more competitions in Cheshire this year.”
Alan also took part in the US Department of Defence Warrior Games held in Tampa, Florida, where he competed in golf, archery, shooting, wheelchair basketball and wheelchair rugby.
“Support like this is vital for someone like me, who hasn’t got any form of big sponsorship.Without it I just wouldn’t be able to promote sport and what can be achieved with a disability. I firmly believe in ability, not disability.
Pictured: Alan Izzard receives the proceeds from the book sale from Professor Annette McIntosh Scott, pro-vice chancellor and provost (left) and Dr Val Gant, senior lecturer, health and social care.