Nine-year-old urges others to join him on shark dive

Nine-year-old urges others to join him on shark dive
Nine-year-old urges others to join him on shark dive

Nine-year-old urges others to join him on shark dive

A nine-year-old Cub from Abbey Hulton, in Stoke-on-Trent, is urging children and young people, aged eight to 15, to join him and three fellow Cubs on a 30-minute Junior Shark Dive to raise funds for disabled children in the region.

Antony, from the 85th Milton Scouts and Cubs pack, will take on the challenge at the Blue Planet Aquarium, in Cheshire, on Sunday 28th June, 2020, to raise vital funds for Caudwell Children, the Staffordshire based charity that provides practical and emotional support to disabled children and their families.

The dive will be part of Caudwell Children’s #Team20 celebrations to mark the 20th anniversary of the charity’s foundation.

Throughout 2020 Caudwell Children is encouraging people to engage with the charity in a number of ways, like taking part in a fundraising event, volunteering for the charity, or raising awareness of the charity’s services, in order to join its #Team20.

Antony’s mother, Kelly, says her son enjoys water based activities and is looking forward to the dive. As she explained: “He’s a good swimmer and regularly visits Fenton Manor Baths, he’s even taking part in a swimming gala later this month.

“As you would expect from somebody who’s in the Cubs Antony’s quite active and he loves playing football and sports.

“He completed a 10-mile bike ride to raise money for the Cubs last year but this fundraiser is a lot more extreme than cycling.”

Antony, known as AJ to his friends and family, is undertaking the dive with fellow Cub Scouts Ben, Jack and Thomas. The boys have paid a £50 registration fee for the privilege of diving with the sharks and they have also been given a £300 fundraising target.

Antony, a pupil at Our Ladies and St Benedict Catholic Academy, in Abbey Hulton, is confident of smashing his target. “With over three months to go before the dive AJ has already raised nearly £300,” exclaimed Kelly. “He’s got his family and friends to sponsor him and he’s spoken to the head teacher at school and she’s promoted it within class.”

Kelly says that Antony enjoys studying maths and English at school and has ambitions to be a police officer or a paramedic when he’s older. As she continued “AJ sometimes appears to have an old head on young shoulders but he’s just a normal young child.

“He is a bit nervous about the dive, like anybody his age would be, but he’s really looking forward to it.

“He’s been in the Cubs for four years and this is simply the biggest thing that he’s ever done with them.”

Kelly says that Antony’s friends think he’s crazy but admire him for what he is doing. “Being a Cub has opened up a whole new world for AJ, and he’s appealing to other Cub Scout packs to get involved” enthused Kelly. “His five-year-old sister, his dad and me will all be there to cheer him and his friends on, we’re so proud of all the boys.”

Kate Sherwin, from Caudwell Children, is delighted that Antony and his friends have chosen to raise funds for the charity. As she exclaimed: “This is fantastic news and you have to admire AJ and his fellow Cub Scouts for their bravery and commitment.

“I can guarantee that the boys won’t have done anything as exciting as this before.”

Places are still available for children and young people, aged 8-15, to take part in the dive and each participant will also get free entry for one spectating adult.

Children will be given a two-hour induction and training session ahead of the dive by Blue Planet’s highly experienced instructors.

“There is a minimum height requirement of 4ft 2” so I’d advise any children who are inspired by AJ’s story to ensure that their parents measure them first before registering for the dive, and bookings are limited and are on a first come first served basis, so I’d urge those who are interested to register now to avoid disappointment.”

Money raised by the group will help Caudwell Children to provide funding for in-home and in-hospital support, specialist equipment, such as powered wheelchairs, buggies, tricycles and car seats, and a number of life changing therapies and treatments.

For more information and to register for a Junior Shark Dive call Kate Sherwin on 01782 433756 or email: kate.shirwin@caudwellchildren.com

Find out about other Caudwell Children challenges here.

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