Uckfield sporting heroes aiming high

Champion skeet shooter, Mick Kirby
Champion skeet shooter, Mick Kirby

An Uckfield firm is getting behind brave sports competitors who are aiming to conquer new heights or raise substantial sums of money for charity.

TR Fastenings sponsor a team of adventurous cyclists who take on the 150 mile Devon Coast to Coast Challenge from May 6-9 in aid of Macmillan Cancer Support. This was the brainchild of the company’s Martin Broom supported by his brother Ian and the pair aim to raise about £10,000 in memory of their father who lost his life to cancer.

Martin said: “Following the loss of our father Ian we put a dedicated team together to cycle the steep and undulating roads of Devon. Although it’s 150 miles, it will seem like 500! We are so grateful for TR’s generous sponsorship. We aim to raise £5,000 but we hope we can reach up to £10,000 with the level of interest we have already received.” Donations can be made at: www.virginmoneygiving.com/sponsor a friend/BDC International.

TR Fastenings is also getting behind Uckfield’s champion shooter and disabled sports person Mick Kirby in clay pigeon shooting competitions across the UK and internationally. Despite a serious stroke eight years ago, Mick, 56, never regained practical use of his left arm but this did not deter him from re-igniting his passion for shooting and achieving competitive success.

Naturally left-handed, he had to retrain to shoot with his right arm and with sheer determination he overcame his physical setback and now shoots competitively nationally, and has shot in Italy and hopes to compete in the USA next year. He has no allowances made for speed in competitions, despite being a fraction slower than other shots and has won first, second and third places against able-bodied shots in Class C competitions.

His new adventure began after he contacted Sportability in 2009, a charity that provides sport and challenging pursuits for people with paralysis. Mick said: “I am so grateful to the charity for helping me to access different physical activities and giving me the confidence to return to participative sport.”

The company also sponsors Uckfield Grasshoppers Junior Football Club, which took on defending champions Ratton Rangers in the U15s County Cup final and won 1-0. This is their second County Cup win. Vice chairman Paul Standing said: “We are very proud of the team. Their continued success comes off the back of intense training at our superb training facility. We pay for every age group to have access to the all-weather pitch once or twice a week and this has seen a marked improvements in every age group.”