Commonwealth Games gold medallist, Dom Cunningham, visited Birmingham Children’s Hospital to encourage children and families to ‘Move It’ for charity.
Dom was in the city centre to help Birmingham Children’s Hospital Charity launch its latest summer fundraiser ‘Move It’, which encourages supporters, both young and old, to get up and active in order to raise vital funds for the sick kids treated at the hospital.
Whether a danceathon, football tournament or even sponsored walk, supporters can take on a range of activities to raise funds for the Children’s Hospital, which treats over 90,000 children each year.
Sport and exercise is something close to the local gymnast’s heart. He said: “I feel honoured to be here today helping to launch ‘Move It’ with Birmingham Children’s Hospital Charity. In a growing digital world, it’s even more important to remember the benefit of exercise and sport. Taking part in ‘Move It’ is a great way to stay fit and healthy as well as raise money for a great cause.
“I’ve met some incredible children at the hospital today. Every one of them has been through incredibly difficult journeys, yet they still get out there to play the sports they love which is so inspiring to see.”
But Dom wasn’t the only gold medallist at the hospital today, as the BCH Transplant Games team, who has won the UK wide games for the past 21 years, also came to support ‘Move It’.
One team member was 15-year-old Hollie Simpson from Coventry. She is celebrating her 10 year post-transplant anniversary this year. Her dad, Malcolm, who gave Hollie his kidney 10 years ago, added: “We’re so incredibly proud of Hollie and everything she’s achieved. What was a scary time for us all, has now made Hollie into the happy and confident girl she is today.
“Hollie was really excited to meet Dom today and get advice from him. He told her to just enjoy every moment and experience, the medals will come but it’s important to make sure you have lots of fun.
“Last year, she competed in the World Transplant Games in Malaga and won two gold medals in the Long Jump and Ball Throwand this weekend we’re off to Sardinia to compete in the European Transplant Games. Meeting a commonwealth champion today will give her a great boost ahead of the games.”
The BCH Transplant Games team is made up of patients from the hospital that have had one or more organ transplants and this year the games are being held in Birmingham for the first time since 1999.
Miranda Williams, Public Fundraising Manager at Birmingham Children’s Hospital Charity, said: “We were delighted to welcome both Dom and the Transplant Games team to our hospital today and can’t thank them enough for their support for ‘Move It’.
“Supporters taking part in ‘Move It’ can fundraise for any ward or department in the hospital, including the Transplant Games fund where £100 could sponsor an athlete like Hollie for the day – this would include kit, fees and accommodation per day.
“Without our incredible supporters, we wouldn’t be able to go above and beyond for our patients and families to help give them the best possible experience, so we really are incredibly grateful.”