Birkdale pensioner smashes fundraising target for Southport Gymnastics Club

A pensioner from Southport who walked 75 miles on his 75th birthday for charity has thanked Champion readers for helping him smash his fundraising target.

David Spratt, from Birkdale, walked all the way from Bootle to Burnley in eight days, and managed to raise more than £3,000 for Southport Gymnastics Club.

However after his story featured on the front page of the Champion earlier this month, David was delighted to find his total had shot up to well over £5,000!

David said: “It’s made my 75th birthday a very memorable and happy occasion and I’m pleased to hear that the future of the club is looking positive once again.

“Everyone that I have met has been really supportive of the gymnastics club and wishes to see it continue to provide its wonderful services to young people.

“There really is a great need for clubs like this and it needs our support at this critical time.

“I’m delighted that my sponsorship target of £5,000 in aid of Southport Gymnastics Club has been reached in the last few days!

“My front page picture and the article in the Southport Champion certainly helped boost donations!

“The support of so many people, clubs and organisations has been overwhelming with over 200 sponsorship donations.

“I wish to express my enormous thanks to staff or members at the following organisations who have given donations or expressed their support.

“All the funds raised will help to firmly establish a successful gymnastics club for children in the north Sefton area. Healthy exercise and sports are essential for all children but, today, there are few indoor, all-year round facilities available to them at an affordable price.

“As a result of Southport YMCA’s decision to dispose of its successful Gymnastics Club, a group of parents set up a new Gymnastics Club charity which took over from the YMCA in September 2016.

“The new club had no start-up funds and many of the facilities are over 25 years old. It needs our help!

“The club provides classes for 1,300 children per week and it is one of the important ‘social glues’ that help to hold the community together.

“It also provides healthy exercise, fun and social activities for the community and is a place where children of all abilities develop their confidence and create their cherished memories of childhood.

“Many older and wiser people have helped me in the past. It is now my turn to help today’s children in these challenging times of change for all communities.”