Lottery funding to get GSR team to the finish line

Picture: Malcolm Wells

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A CHARITY group is celebrating after being awarded city lottery funding for a team in the SimplyHealth Great South Run.

Pompey in the Community (PitC), which is the charitable arm of Pompey FC, put forward an application to the Portsmouth Lottery for £2,000 to enable a team of special needs adults to run the 10 miles around Southsea.

Christian Burgess and the Pompey in the Community Team, with Cllr Linda Symes and Jayne Fearn from Simplyhealth holding the finish line'''Picture: Habibur Rahman

Christian Burgess and the Pompey in the Community Team, with Cllr Linda Symes and Jayne Fearn from Simplyhealth holding the finish line'''Picture: Habibur Rahman

Chief executive of PitC, Claire Martin, said: ‘This year a lot of our special needs groups have decided it is a real challenge they would like to take on.

‘We have our amputee team, some of our powerchair football team and we also have our special needs adults running each with a carer so with the support of Portsmouth Lottery, PMC and AD Mechanical we will probably be able to have about 40 runners in the PitC team.’

Training sessions will take place throughout the year to prepare the team for the race which will take place on Sunday, October 21.

Claire added: ‘We are so excited to get the funding and we will be having special T-shirts made with all our sponsors and hopefully we will get the team members to help design them as well.’

Yesterday the PitC runners helped Pompey FC defender Christian Burgess to mark the official launch of this year’s Great South Run at Fratton Park.

PitC Ambassador Christian said: ‘It is an amazing event for people from all walks of life.

‘It’s very inspiring to see so many people taking part for charities, good causes and to keep fit.’

The 26-year-old added: ‘Pompey in the Community is important to the football club because there’s a lot of work that goes into the community.

‘We are lucky at Portsmouth to have people who want to give something back and increase participation for charity.’

One of the team members taking part is Russell Hardie who has learning difficulties.

His mum Dot Hardie said: ‘Russell absolutely loves football and enjoys going to his sessions with his coach Matt and all the people go there are so friendly and like a big family.

‘I think this will be a challenge for him and all the others but it is good for them to have a goal to work to and get fitter at the same time which is something that is really important.’

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