Portsmouth teenager takes on crossbar challenge to help Portsmouth Down Syndrome Association recover from Covid-19

TWENTY-ONE days to hit 441 crossbars is the challenge a teenager has set himself to raise money for a charity which is out of pocket due to coronavirus.

Wednesday, 7th October 2020, 4:35 pm

Like thousands of others, for Portsmouth Down Syndrome Association (PDSA) the month of October means it is time for the Great South Run but due to the Covid-19 outbreak, this year’s event has been cancelled.

Fifteen-year-old Sam Ford from Portsmouth, who has Down syndrome, decided to complete 441 crossbars with his sister Lucy, 11, across the month to help raise money for PDSA, which usually raises £60,000 from the Great South Run.

Sam’s dad Andy said: ‘It is a charity that does such amazing work and we have been part of it since Sam was a baby.

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Sam and Lucy Ford from Portsmouth are fundraising for Portsmouth Down Syndrome Association

‘He is a huge Pompey and football fan so he wanted to do the crossbars and Lucy is throwing at the bar as well.

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‘I have been so touched by Pompey fans and people we don’t know on social media donating to their challenge.’

Sam and Lucy’s efforts are part of the T21 challenge, named after the medical term for Down syndrome, trisomy 21, started by the fundraisers at PDSA to help them recover from the financial impact of coronavirus.

Chair Rachel Ross said: ‘We have got about 50 to 60 families who are all taking part in the T21 challenge in their own way, using 21 or multiples of 21 as their inspiration.

‘Sam is doing his crossbar challenge and we have one of the parents Ben Brooks who has been doing a different challenge everyday from juggling to giving his daughter a piggyback.

‘We usually raise about £60,000 from the Great South Run and last year we had 350 runners that were running for us. We don’t get government funding so having all our normal fundraising events cancelled has been difficult.

‘But our members have really stepped us and we have raised £13,000 in the first week of the month challenge which is great. We welcome anyone who wants to join the challenge.

For more information about the T21 challenge visit portsmouthdsa.org/

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