Wed, 16 Sept 2020
PLAYERS of a sports club founded by a Thatcham woman have rallied to pay back her years of dedication to the community.
Members of the Thames Valley Kings wheelchair basketball club raised funds for the club and Breast Cancer Now after club founder Jacqueline Scoins-Cass was diagnosed with breast cancer last year.
The event, organised by long-term club member Joe Humphreys, involved members covering the distance between the club’s base and the English Institute of Sport in Sheffield, the home of British Wheel-chair Basketball’s performance arena, and back – 340 miles in seven days.
The location was also picked as both Kings juniors and adult first team had qualified for the 2019/20 season finals in Sheffield for their respective competitions, which were cut short by Covid-19.
The challenge started on Monday, August 31, and was scheduled to finish on Sunday, September 6.
But participants covered 393 miles in six days through pushing, cycling, rowing, running or walking and exceeded their £1,000 target.
Since founding the club in 2004, Mrs Scoins-Cass has worked incredibly hard to provide opportunities for hundreds of disabled people through her work with the club, all of which has been done on a voluntary basis.
Mr Humphreys said: “Jacqueline has had such an impact on my life that I felt I needed to show my support when it’s needed most.
“When I found out she was diagnosed with cancer, because of what she has done for me and the community I really felt I wanted to give something back.
“I have always been a member of her club.
“The difference between her and other coaches is she’s not just a basketball coach, she will help you with other things.
“She has helped me with tough times in my life.
“As soon as I found out about her diagnosis I was also going through a tough time.
“I just thought this is my opportunity to show her how I and all of us appreciate what she does.”
He added: “I’m incredibly happy with the amount of people that wanted to come together and raise money for two very worthy charities and to support Jacqueline while she was battling with her cancer.
“As well as being a sports club, it’s a social event for a lot of disabled people who can’t do something like that.
“It’s been hard not to be able to play for five months.
“Having this challenge has helped people, including myself, to have something to focus on.”
Mrs Scoins-Cass said: “It’s an amazing amount of miles. I’m just really proud of how they have done.
“It’s really great for the guys to do it and I’m so thankful that so many wanted to be part of it and set their own personal challenges and raise so much money.
“It’s nice that Joe has thought of me.
“It feels a bit weird for people to be fundraising for me.
“Normally I’m doing it for the club and other people. That was hard at first.
“I’m just so proud of everyone and all the money raised.”
Further donations can be made at this page