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Lichfield dad completes charity cycle ride in aid of disability swimming group

A Lichfield dad and his two friends have completed a 200 mile cycling challenge to raise money for a disability swimming group.

Anthony Sutton, Matt Nicholson and Jonathan Smith
Anthony Sutton, Matt Nicholson and Jonathan Smith

Anthony Sutton, Matt Nicholson and Jonathan Smith, completed the tough route between Bangor and Cardiff over three days to raise money for Paddles Disability Swimming – a non-profit organisation which helps children of all ages learn independence and confidence through swimming.

The cause was chosen by local business-owner Anthony, who’s 11-year-old daughter Polly, has been training with Paddles for two years.

Polly, who hopes to compete in a future Paralympics, recently qualified for the British leg of the world para swimming series in Glasgow, where she won top British junior for her 100m breast stroke.

She has also won at the National Junior Para Swimming Championships in Liverpool and hopes to continue her success at the upcoming Summer Nationals.

Anthony said his daughter’s success was down to Paddles owner Anna Lavan who has helped Polly to reach her potential.

Anthony said: “We we’re lucky to have brilliant weather across the three days which made the cycling much more enjoyable, but it was still a huge challenge.

“The Bangor to Cardiff route is known for its hills and day two was particularly difficult as it started with a steep 10-mile climb. There were a few hairy moments and it was pretty tiring but throughout the experience we kept in mind who we were cycling for, with the main aim to finish and raise as much as we possibly could.

“The support we received was incredible, we had friends and family cheering us on the whole way and Anna also visited us on our route.

“We are absolutely delighted to have raised over £4,000 for Anna and Paddles.

“She has given so much to Polly over the years and been a constant source of support and guidance in helping her swimming dreams become a reality.

“We’re hoping that with this money, Anna can buy supplies, equipment and fund further training to help even more disabled children like Polly in the region learn to swim.”

“A huge difference”

Anna said that the money raised will make a difference to young people.

“What the guys did was truly amazing, and it was so well organised,” she said. “It was great to able to see them off from Bangor as they set off on the challenge.

“The money raised will make a huge difference and I am planning to use it for another changing bed so children with complex needs can change comfortably and not on the floor.

“It will also help towards getting some sensory swim toys which have a really positive impact on the children in the water and a social gathering with all of our swimmers and parents – we have such a lovely, close-knit group, it would be fantastic to be able to celebrate that.

“I can’t thank Anthony and the team enough and I’m honoured to know these amazing gentlemen.”

A volunteer wrote this. Say thanks with a coffee.

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