Living The Dream Barking and Dagenham Trust looks to Rio 2016
PUBLISHED: 12:00 24 September 2012
More than £60,000 raised through an olympics-inspired charity is set to benefit potental stars of Rio 2016 as part of a unique lasting legacy.
Teresa Parish, 49, launched the Living the Dream Barking and Dagenham Trust in 2007 to help youngsters follow their sporting dreams with grants, advice and support.
More than 30 young athletes have benefited from 116 grants after a successful fundraising drive raised about £100,000 in the lead up to London 2012.
She pledged to help potential sports stars because as a young National League basketball player she missed out on the World Student Games through lack of funding.
On Friday a thank you party to supporters of the charity was held at Dagenham and Redbridge Football Club.
The charity secretary said: “Seb’s (Coe) phrase was to ‘inspire a generation’ and that is what you have all done and for that I thank you all.
“It started as a dream for me. When I heard the news that London had won the bid I sat there and thought no-one should miss out like I did. You always hear this wonderful word legacy but what does it mean? How would we inspire a generation.
“There are many talented young athletes who reach a certain level and cannot go on and it’s all down to money and I vowed this should not happen to youngsters in Barking and Dagenham.
“Thirty-three athletes have been assisted by Living the Dream Barking and Dagenham since 2008. We are now in a good position to help many more, with the Commonwealth Games in 2014 and Rio in 2016.”
Among those at the event were the charity trustees, members of the business commununity, volunteers and athletes and their parents.
Charity chairman and Managaing Director of West & Co Funeral Director Jeremy West paid tribute to Teresa and Living the Dream supporters.
He said: “Teresa had a vision and it’s been a great honour for me to be involved. We thank you for the idea and seeing it through.
He added: “Living the Dream is a unique charity, other boroughs have come and look at the model but say they do not have the community support to do this. To raise that sort of money in this tough economic climate is amazing.”
During the evening former mayor councillor Milton McKenzie MBE presented a cheque for more than £14,000 and other donations were handed over, bringing the overall fundraising figure to £100,000. A video was also shown highlighting the charity’s work.
Chloe Spiteri, 18, narrowly missed out on competing in wrestling for London 2012. She said: “Living the Dream and Teresa Parish has given me amazing financial and emotional support. My goal now is the Commonwealth’s in 2014 and Rio.”
If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the Barking and Dagenham Post. Click the link in the orange box above for details.