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Why do we sponsor a community BMX club?
02 Nov 2017
by Kirsty Smallman

Have you ever wondered why businesses sponsor events, groups and awards?

For the team at J&PR we love sponsoring the race jerseys worn by the riders at Wrekin Riders BMX Race Club.

Credit: Smithy’s Photography

Why? We love the joy the children get out of progressing on their bikes – some learning to ride a balance bike on the new National Windscreens Balance Bike Track, others moving on to the big track and others enjoying a new challenge in their teenage years.

Then of course the parents often join them on a bike and on the track – family fun outside in the fresh air. Perfect.

The club relies solely on volunteers and the income from their training sessions and memberships and of course sponsors like ourselves.

As a business we feel we are giving something back by supporting the club but then the club members also wanted to give back to their community too and left everyone overwhelmed with their efforts.

Club coach Kieran Edwards spotted a little girl from Telford riding a special trike whilst smiling and laughing with her family in a video on Facebook. He realised he was in school with the little girl’s dad. Kieran then read the comments which said the family could not afford the bike yet due to the high price.

Devastated that little Trinity Russell, who had already had a tough start in life, couldn’t enjoy a bike like other children, Kieran set about fundraising and sourcing a bike.

And at the end of season club race and presentation four year old Trinity who is a pupil at The Bridge School in Hadley was invited to the track with her parents, Ian and Claire and her big sister Kendra, to be presented with the new bike. There wasn’t a dry eye trackside!

Trinity was born with a heart condition called Fallots Tetralogy which limits the amount of oxygen pumped round the body.

It can lead to episodes where she can’t breathe and her parents said as she grew up the condition got worse so doctors kept monitoring her.

At two months old the brave youngster underwent surgery to widen the pulmonary artery to improve the flow of oxygen.

Unfortunately during this surgery she suffered a stroke and she had to have emergency heart surgery.

The stroke resulted in left side hemiplegia, a type of cerebral palsy, which means she has little use of her left arm and limited use of her left leg.

Her mum Claire Russell said her little girl was also NG tube fed for 15 months after surgery until she learnt to tolerate food and drink.

But the battle continued for little Trinity as at seven months old she suffered infantile spasms which is a severe form of epilepsy and can affect mental development which left her with speech problems and developmental delay.

Mrs Russell said Trinity suffered her first seizure since she was seven months last November and now has epilepsy permanently as well.

Mrs Russell said: “Trinity has however started to improve massively on her walking and has even started to say more words although her speech is not very clear.”

She communicates with her family through Makaton signing and loves school.

The bike was presented to Trinity on Sunday in front of more than 200 BMX riders and supporters from across the Midlands at the £250,000 National standard track on Duce Drive.

Club coach Mr Edwards said: “I was in school with Trinity’s dad and despite not seeing each other for a long time I spotted the video of his little girl riding a bike for the first time.

“It was a special trike and it obviously made her so happy.

“Then I read the family couldn’t afford the bike due to the high cost and I thought how unfair it was that any of our own children could pick up a bike from anywhere to have that fun but Trinity couldn’t.

“It stayed with me and I was determined to get the bike. We bought it for Sunday and then asked for further donations from the people who were at our event.

“Many people were left in tears when they met Trinity and her family and saw her smile when she saw the bike and sat on it.”

Mr Edwards added: “We are a community club and rely on so much support from our sponsors and others within the community in order for us to run the club and facility so it is only right that on occasion we give something back.

“We hope to welcome Trinity back to Wrekin Riders soon where she can show off her pedalling to our other members.”

Trinity was joined by her parents Ian and Claire and her sister Kendra, eight, along with her grandparents at the presentation on Sunday.

Mr Russell said: “We can’t thank Wrekin Riders enough for what they have done for Trinity – the bike is amazing and we think the crowd could see how happy she was with her amazing smile.

“Kieran has literally blown us away with his determination to not only raise the money but to also source the bike at a more reasonable cost.

“It was a very emotional day and we will be forever grateful that a voluntary run club such as Wrekin Riders which relies solely on donations and the small amount of income they get from their sessions would do this for our little girl.

“Trinity will be able to enjoy the outdoors now on her trike like any other four year old rather than being in her pushchair.”

From all of us at J&PR well done to Kieran and all at Wrekin Riders and we hope Trinity enjoys her new bike.

For more information about Wrekin Riders follow them on Facebook @WrekinRiders or email Wrekinriders@outlook.com