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Eddie “The Eagle” Edwards International Birdman Worthing

We are proud to announce that A & T Business Associates have sponsored the Sparks entry for the Worthing 2010 International Birdman Event this summer. Please read the Sparks press release below:

Eddie ‘The Eagle’ takes wing for Sparks…at Worthing Birdman!

Is it a bird…is it a plane…or is it the world’s best-loved ski-jumper?

Sparks, the children’s medical research charity, is delighted that the one and only Eddie ‘The Eagle’ Edwards has picked up the gauntlet and agreed to be the charity’s representative at the Worthing International Birdman on August 15. He hopes to lift the £30k winning prize with a spectacular soaraway leap into the Worthing sky.

The ‘Birdman’ will be another highlight in what should prove a memorable 2010 for Eddie, whose eccentric efforts at the 1988 Winter Olympics in Calgary endeared him to millions and made him a genuine folk hero whose name will forever be associated with true British pluck and a never say die spirit.

In January Eddie was chosen as an official Olympic torchbearer for the Vancouver Winter Games, while a film chronicling his colourful life story goes into production with actor Rupert Grint, alias Harry Potter’s best pal Ron Weasley, portraying him onscreen, although Eddie cheekily quips that Brad Pitt would have been the “perfect likeness!”.

From ski- jumper to Worthing Birdman represents a ‘wizard’ new challenge in longtime celebrity Ambassador Eddie’s trail of support for Sparks over 20 years. And it’s the closest yet to the gallant Olympic effort that first brought the eccentric one-time plasterer turned qualified lawyer to fame 22 years ago.

Decidedly more down to earth deeds have included cycling 1,145-miles from John O’Groats to Land’s End on a tandem, biking from Inverness to London, playing more rounds of charity golf than he can possibly count and delivering several motivational speeches and media interviews for the Sparks cause.

Tony Hedger, A&T Business Associates, and founder of the First Friday Worthing Network has again agreed to sponsor the entry on behalf of Sparks, and as last year, the monies raised will be allocated to genetic eczema and arthritis research undertaken by Professor Somnath Mukhopadhyay at the Brighton and Sussex Medical School. Professor Mukhopadhyay is currently investigating ways in which emollients can be used to treat babies from birth in the hope of reducing and eventually eradicating the need for steroids or heavy duty drugs in later life. Tony’s son Alex, now 5, has suffered from severe excema and the family are aware of how debilitating and upsetting this condition can be.

Worthing’s highest rated hotel, The Ardington, which held Sparks first fabulous gala dinner in their very popular Indigo restaurant, raising £4,500 for the charity, has offered Eddie and his family a room over the weekend. Simon Margaroli, Director, has also risen to the challenge offering a bottle of Champagne for every metre Eddie flies.

Sparks is a very special children’s charity, founded and supported by many of Britain’s leading sports men and women, grateful for their own good health and determined to help children less fortunate.  The charity’s president is England World Cup football legend Sir Geoff Hurst MBE.  Sir Geoff praised Eddie for taking on the birdman challenge, and said “I hope he outsoars everyone else competing and lands that £30k for Sparks.”  What makes sparks such a rarity is that rather than concentrating on a single issue, the charity funds pioneering research along the spectrum of children’s medicine.

If you need further information or would like to help us in any way, be it volunteering, running an event, or to be kept informed of all our fantastic events that are happening this year, contact ann-marie@sparks.org.uk or 07535 975568 Donations can be given to Sparks in the South East or www.justgiving.com/ann-marie-blackman


For interview requests or further information on any aspect of this press release or the work that Sparks do,
Please contact paul@sparks.org.uk, Sparks Director of Communications, 0207 340 0681

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