Pupils from a North East special needs school have met a former Paralympian to find out more about what it is like to have a career as a professional athlete.
Former Paralympic wheelchair basketball player and fencer, Lee Fawcett was at EDF Energy’s customer service centre in Sunderland ahead of the 2012 Games to meet staff who are raising funds for Paralympics GB.
The energy company also invited along a group of pupils from nearby Portland College who got to talk to Lee, who represented Great Britain at wheelchair basketball and wheelchair fencing, about his career and learn more about his sports.
Pupil said: “It was great to meet Lee and learn all about what he has done in his career so far. He has really inspired me to follow my dreams”
Paralympics GB are the official charity partner of EDF Energy and employees across the company have so far raised £400,000 for the organisation which supports selects, prepares, enters, funds and manages the Great Britain and Northern Ireland team at the Paralympic Games.
Emma Shearer, community specialist at EDF Energy in Sunderland, said: “We’re extremely happy to have been able to welcome Lee and provide an opportunity for our staff and the Portland College pupils to meet him.
“As a company we’re committed to supporting worthy causes and our partnership with Paralympics GB has been extremely popular among staff who are involved in many different fundraising events and initiatives. It’s great to be able to speak to Lee and learn more about how the funds support athletes.”
Lee, 35, is now retired from playing international basketball and is head coach and a player for Newcastle Eagles Wheelchair Basketball team and a performance coach for the GB Wheelchair Basketball Team. He is also a volunteer and mentor and visits schools and businesses to motivate and inspire people to achieve.
Lee said: “It was fantastic to visit EDF Energy and meet staff and students that were so enthusiastic and interested to find out more about what it is like to compete in the Paralympics.
“The company is supporting a fantastic cause and I’m sure everyone at Paralympics GB will be eternally grateful for the efforts that are being put into fundraising.”