A world-class field of sporting stars teamed up with a Coventry company to help raise £17,000 for its fund to equip soldiers in need with skills for a new start.
Boxing legend Frank Bruno MBE, world snooker champion Mark Williams MBE and world darts champion Rob Cross were among the star-studded line-up at The Wigley Group’s annual golf day.
They were joined at The Wigley Group Golf Open & Gala Dinner held at De Vere Staverton Estate, near Daventry, by more than 200 business professionals from across the region.
The money raised will go to The Wigley Support Fund, the company’s initiative to help retrain injured, serving and veteran soldiers, identified by the Parachute Regiment charity Support Our Paras, to make the transition from military to civilian life.
The commercial property and construction company, based at Middlemarch Business Park, has now raised close to £100,000 for Support Our Paras from six years of the event.
Robert Wigley, chairman of The Wigley Group, said: “We are hugely grateful to everyone who supported our golf day this year which included a magnificent seven current and former world champions from boxing, darts and snooker.
“The money raised will help those in need make what can be a difficult transition from military to civilian life for a variety of reasons, one of which can be mental health which is a recognised issue within the armed forces and the construction industry.
“It was particularly moving to hear our special guest Frank Bruno speak about his own battles with mental health and his support in helping others, and we have recently funded a new opportunity for soldiers to take the first step towards becoming a boxing coach.”
The event was hosted by TV sports announcer and former Paratrooper John McDonald, who compered the gala dinner featuring a Q&A with Frank Bruno and an auction of sports memorabilia.
The day got off to a flying start with the Parachute Regiment display team the Red Devils making a spectacular landing on the course with The Wigley Group’s giant flag and tournament golf balls, cheered on by children from the nearby Staverton CE Primary School.
Darts legends Steve Beaton and Justin Pipe, sports promoter Barry Hearn and Mark Williams were among the celebrities to compete in the golf tournament, alongside business figures and Lance Corporal Gavin Prue, who was the first beneficiary of The Wigley Support Fund.
Robert added: “It was also great to hear first-hand from Gavin about how within a year of receiving help to study an access course at Henley College in Coventry, he has gone from having no GCSEs to securing a place at university to study for a degree leading to a career in cyber security.”