Frank Bruno and Peter Shilton visit Thetford charity sports day

The Sports Experience Day for disabled children run by the Presidents Sporting Club at the Thetford

The Sports Experience Day for disabled children run by the Presidents Sporting Club at the Thetford Leisure Centre. Frank Bruno shows off his basketball skills to the children. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2016

Sporting legends Frank Bruno and Peter Shilton were trying their hand at new sports with disabled children from across East Anglia at a charity sports day.

The former heavyweight boxer and former England goalkeeper joined 350 children at the Presidents Sporting Club/Essex Disabled Sports Foundation experience day at Breckland Leisure Centre, in Thetford.

The children and sportsmen tried their hand at sports including trampolining, martial arts, basketball and ping pong, while outside the sports field was packed with bouncy castles. They were joined by Mayor of Thetford Terry Jermy and Mike Jackson, chairman of the Presidents Sporting Club.

Bruno has been involved with the club for around 30 years and has been its president for more than 20.

'It's good to see the kids like this enjoying it. This is all for a good cause.


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'In the 30 years I've been doing this things have improved and I just really wanted to get involved.

'Mike Jackson got me involved with it while I was living in Essex and it all fitted like a jigsaw puzzle.'

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Shilton, who holds the record for the highest number of caps for England, became involved with the experience days after moving to Essex.

'When you come along it talks for itself, because you can see kids with different disabilities and the different sports they can play, and you can find one that they can enjoy.

'You have the sports, but there are also fun ideas, and the whole day has a great atmosphere. It's impossible for children not to enjoy it.'

Mike Jackson OBE, founder and chairman of the Presidents Sporting Club, said: 'Every penny that we raise goes to help the children that we try to support.

'In total, 30,000 children have come through this programme. It's about giving those with special needs the opportunity to try a sport of activity that they may not normally do.

'We say there are no horizons in sport and children, even those with special needs, have unlimited potential if you give them the opportunity. With top quality coaching they can get something out of it. 'It brings a tear to my eye to see it.'

The event in Thetford was the last in a run of three by the charity its annual experience day run, with the others taking place in Chelmsford and Watford.

Thetford has been a venue for the days for around 17 years, with this year's event mainly sponsored by Shadwell Stud.

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