Funeral home sponsors talented athlete

Staff from Henry Ison & Sons have raised £1,000 to help fund the full-time training of a talented high jumper.

Henry Ison & Sons’ Kenilworth branch, part of the LM collective of funeral homes, invited one thousand local residents to come into the branch and donate £1 each to help Matt Roberts achieve his goal of becoming a full-time athlete.

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Area manager of Henry Ison & Sons Steve Geraty came up with the ‘1000/1 Campaign’ after meeting Matt’s mother at a local business event and finding out that he was one of a number of athletes to have their funding withdrawn in the run-up to the Olympics.

“We are delighted to be able to help such a talented young athlete achieve his dream to represent his country. The staff were all inspired by his story of determination and we were keen to get involved and raise the funds to help pay for his training,” Steve remarked.

It isn’t just the withdrawal of funding that has left Matt fighting for his future as a professional athlete. In 2011 he had to overcome pioneering surgery to have a disc in his broken neck replaced after suffering a career-threatening injury.

An open morning was held at Henry Ison & Sons to give residents the opportunity to meet Matt and find out about the work and dedication needed to be a professional athlete.

Across the three-week initiative, a total of £750 was raised through public donations, with Henry Ison & Sons contributing the remaining £250 to help Matt achieve his target.

“We will continue to follow Matt’s progress as he bids to take his career forward,” Steve continued.

“It is exciting to think that we have played a small part in his development and we cannot wait to see him competing on the television and reading about him in the papers.”

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