CENTRE ALGARVE, JUST RIFLES AND THE SPURS LEGENDS

SunSet

In a recent mention in "East Algarve Magazine", Centre Algarve, Just Rifles and the Spurs legends got a mention for the great work they do on a day to day basis. Read on to see the article.

"When tragedy strikes, particularly for those representing their country in one of the many conflict areas around the world, then the injured servicemen and women or bereaved families find that there are many things they need. It might be a break from everyday life, some household item may need replacing or perhaps a specific piece of sporting equipment is required to help those, who have been injured, with their rehabilitation. This is where the Just Rifles charity step in to help.

Centre Algarve, mainland Europe’s only fully equipped specialist holiday centre which caters solely for people with special needs, has teamed up with Just Rifles to donate a hundred weeks of holidays every year for the next five years. Corporal Ricky Fergusson, who received the Military Cross (MC) from the Queen in December 2010, recently joined several other injured colleagues as they assessed the facilities at Centre Algarve near Moncarapacho. Ricky lost both his legs, his left eye as well as parts of his fingers on both hands in a bomb blast in Afghanistan but despite his injuries Ricky is an active individual and was bowled over with the facilities at the Centre.

Tottenham Hotspur Legends have become committed benefactors to Centre Algarve and last month the Legends including 1978 FIFA World Cup winner Ossie Ardiles played three of the Algarve’s top golf courses - Quinto do Vale, Castro Marim and Montei Rei - to help raise funds. Ossie was joined by Centre Algarve Patron and former England international Graham Roberts, Mark Falco, Paul Miller and John Lacy together with former Luton legend and England International Brian Stein and Northern Ireland international Steve Lomas. The final evening Presentation Dinner at Montei Rei Golf & Country Club raised 8900euros including 4600euros from an auction and raffle.

Graham Roberts also announced that he and a few colleagues are in training for a sponsored cycle ride from Malaga to Centre Algarve in November. The 58 year-old Spurs Legend, who has more recently managed the Pakistan and Nepal national football teams, said, “this is such a worthwhile charity and as Patron I felt I had to put my best foot forward and so we’re gearing up to pedal the 420kms from southern Spain to Moncarapacho.”

Despite persistent rain some of the Legends and sponsors took time-out to play 6-a-side Walking Football against the Soccer Olhanense Strollers. The Strollers were lead by Brian Kilcline who captained the Coventry City team to Cup Final glory in 1987 against Tottenham Hotspur. In the Spurs team that day was the incomparable Ossie Ardiles. Sadly, owing to an ankle injury Ossie was unable to lock horns with his former adversary.

Inspiration behind the Centre Algarve project is Essex businessman Andy Mahoney who said, “being heavily involved in the special needs field for many years and often arranging free transportation for charity fun day trips, I soon discovered that there was nowhere for these children to safely take a break abroad in a facility which solely catered for their specialist and individual needs. Special needs schools and centres are still unable to arrange educational trips abroad due to lack of venues and this is common across Europe. I felt that the time had come to change this and raise the barrier so that ALL children have an opportunity to enjoy a holiday, no matter what their disability, in a safe environment. I am delighted that we can also offer these facilities to special needs groups here in Portugal and organisations such as Just Rifles”.

www.centrealgarve.org