»Boxer Frank Bruno pre­sents new wheel­chair to teenager Finn

Gloucestershire Echo - - FRONT PAGE - By ROBIN JENK­INS

A14-YEAR-OLD boy, who has cere­bral palsy, has been pre­sented with his own lightweight wheel­chair by for­mer world heavy­weight box­ing cham­pion Frank Bruno.

The pre­sen­ta­tion was cour­tesy of the CHIPS Char­ity and Gent­ing UK and took place at Re­sorts World Birm­ing­ham.

Finn Lusty, of Up Hather­ley, lives with his mum, step dad and three sib­lings and has a huge pas­sion for sport.

The teenager has spas­tic diple­gia, a form of cere­bral palsy that causes mus­cle stiff­ness which makes walk­ing dif­fi­cult and so he is a full-time wheel­chair user.

Finn has re­cently out­grown his wheel­chair and fol­low­ing a bike ac­ci­dent in 2017, has be­come even more re­liant on the ma­chine.

The new one pro­vided by CHIPS and Gent­ing UK will en­able Finn to en­joy his pas­sion for sport and as a re­sult of moun­tain bike wheels, he will be able to ac­cess sports fields and ref­eree foot­ball games, as well as par­tic­i­pate in other wheel­chair sports.

The wheel­chair was pur­chased with funds raised by em­ploy­ees at Gent­ing UK who ran the Rock and Roll Madrid Marathon and Half Marathon in April 2017.

In all, £20,000 was raised by 10 run­ners from Gent­ing Casino UK and the money was do­nated to CHIPS - a char­ity founded on be­half of the Casino and Gam­ing In­dus­try, to raise money for spe­cialised wheel­chairs to give to young peo­ple with dis­abil­i­ties.

Vickie Lusty, Finn’s mother, said: “The new wheel­chair that we have re­ceived from CHIPS is the chair of Finn’s dreams and has mod­i­fi­ca­tions that will help to make his life so much eas­ier.

“I have never heard any­one else try­ing so hard at life and he is only 14 years old.

“He is break­ing the rules of dis­abil­ity and you will see him on a podium one day.

“I want to take this op­por­tu­nity to say a huge thank you to CHIPS and Gent­ing UK. You have pro­vided him with some­thing that it would have been im­pos­si­ble for us to pro­vide and by do­ing that you have helped heal my heart just a lit­tle bit.”

Mr Bruno said: “I was de­lighted to have been asked by Gent­ing UK and CHIPS to present Finn with a brand new wheel­chair.

“As a for­mer sports­man my­self, I be­lieve ev­ery young per­son should have the op­por­tu­nity to par­tic­i­pate in sport and it’s amaz­ing to hear this wheel­chair will give Finn the op­por­tu­nity to get more in­volved in some­thing he’s so pas­sion­ate about.”

Frank had a highly-pub­li­cised box­ing ca­reer span­ning al­most 15 years be­fore fi­nally hang­ing up his gloves in 1996.

His great­est sport­ing achieve­ment came in 1995 when he be­came the WBC world heavy­weight cham­pion af­ter win­ning against Oliver Mccall over 12 rounds.

Mark Sergeant, group man­ag­ing di­rec­tor at Gent­ing Casino, said: “I’m in­cred­i­bly proud of the staff mem­bers at Gent­ing UK.

“As a teenager, Finn de­serves his own in­de­pen­dence and with this new lightweight wheel­chair it’s bril­liant to know that he will now be able to par­tic­i­pate in wheel­chair sports, some­thing I know he’s very pas­sion­ate about.”

Linda Lind­say, the CHIPS Char­ity co­founder, said: “It’s great to see a sport­ing leg­end such as Frank Bruno present Finn with his very own lightweight wheel­chair that re­ally is go­ing to help change his life.

“Finn de­serves to en­joy his pas­sion for sport and the wheel­chair will re­ally help him gain the ac­cess to wheel­chair sports.

“I also want to say a huge thank you to ev­ery­one who par­tic­i­pated in the fundrais­ing and mak­ing the pre­sen­ta­tion pos­si­ble.” robin.jenk­ins@reach­plc.com

Finn Lusty with his fam­ily and Frank Bruno

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