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5 December 2017

Stuart Butcher
The AITC Santa Dash took place last Sunday.

This year’s Seagulls Santa Dash by Albion in the Community on Sunday 3rd December raised a fantastic record-breaking total of £4100.

More than 150 runners (plus a few dogs!) took part in the fundraising event at the Amex Stadium, with participants wearing blue and white Santa suits, and were given goody bags and medals at the finishing line.

The event is one of many that AITC run in order to raise funds which go towards supporting the charity’s inclusive football programme. The charity runs sessions for people with a disability and 250 people regularly attend the football sessions.

AITC also have around 20 teams who compete in a variety of leagues at local, regional and national levels.

But this year’s Santa Dash had a twist – as Paul Brackley, the charity’s Disability Manager, took part wearing a blindfold.

Paul was supported and guided by Malcolm Thorpe – a long-term supporter of AITC. The pair completed the 2.1km course to raise awareness of the charities inclusive football programmes.

“It was a really interesting experience and I was very lucky to have a good guide,” Paul said.

“I didn’t do much training specifically, but my experience of coaching blind football was really helpful as I was able to use some tips from players and having tried it myself previously.

“Malcolm was exceptional particularly as he’d never guided anyone before, he was calm and kept talking throughout, making sure I was ok and telling me which way to go around the course.

“We managed to raise a fantastic total and from ‘what I saw’ we had a really great number of people taking part and we are lucky to have their support!”

The event’s organiser Emma was equally full of praise for both the turnout of people in support of AITC’s event, as well as the new record amount that was raised and Paul’s decision to attempt the course blindfolded.

“This event has grown year-on-year it was great to have so many children, adults and even some four legged friends involved,” she said.

“It is fantastic that so many supporters of the club and AITC came together to raise funds for Albion in the Community, raising more than we ever have before.

“Paul Brackley took part blindfolded, to raise awareness of the work we do. It was a great challenge for him, and Malcolm, and it was great to see them cross the finish line.

“I would like to thank everyone who came and took part and made the event special.”

Paul has so far raised over £2000 and can still be sponsored online at:

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