Weather doesn't put fundraisers off

SUFFOLK may have nearly drowned under the weekend deluge, but nothing could put off thousands of people who took part in the Sport Relief run around Portman Road.

SUFFOLK may have nearly drowned under the weekend deluge, but nothing could put off thousands of people who took part in the Sport Relief run around Portman Road.

They proved just what a hardy lot we are in Suffolk as the runners braved wind and bitter winter temperatures to do their bit for charity.

Sport Relief, like Children in Need and Comic Relief, is a charity that has captured the heart of the nation and inspires ordinary people to make just a little bit of effort to raise money for those less fortunate than themselves.

The money raised will be used in both this country and in the developing world to give families a jump start in life - whether by funding basic services in Africa or a youth sport project in a deprived area of a British city.

What the event in Ipswich proved was that if people are determined to do their bit to raise money, nothing will stop them - whatever the weather.

Everyone who took part in Sport Relief deserves credit today, whether they ran a mile around Portman Road or cycled all the way from Newcastle to London via West Bromwich like Alan Shearer and Adrian Chiles.

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They can all be resting aching limbs today, knowing they have taken part in a very special national event.

IPSWICH Town's rollercoaster season took another turn at the weekend with a competent victory over one of the strongest teams in the division, Charlton.

The south Londoners might have been in the middle of an even worse run than their hosts, but the victory for the Tractor Boys was very welcome.

Owen Garvan's goal may have been one of the luckiest seen at the ground for some time - it was certainly meant as a cross - but there was no doubt about Danny Haynes' emphatic second.

The only sadness at the game was seeing returning warhorse Shefki Kuqi being carried off after just 11 minutes on the pitch. One thing he will not have been in any doubt about was the affection with which he is regarded by the Town fans.

He might have fallen out with his own club's followers - but the reception he received at Portman Road shows he is still fondly thought of here.

The Championship is so open this season that it is still quite possible for Town to make it into the Play-offs and eight years on from their Wembley triumph a return to North London in May would be a fitting end to the season.

BILLY Caiger is, in many ways, a typical eight-year-old - enjoying all the normal activities of a boy of his age.

But in one way he is very special. He was the first baby born at Ipswich Hospital in the third millennium!

After his very special arrival in the early hours of January 1, 2000, Billy's life has been fully of activity - from playing football, learning chess, joining the cubs, and getting on his bike - even ending up in a ditch full of nettles!

The baby we captured during the first hours of his life is now a growing lad with an exciting future ahead of him - a real 21st century boy!

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