The Pinto Fund which is managed through sportMoray (local sports council) continues to be highly successful and has yet again had a very busy year supporting young people from Moray to get into sport or be more physically active. Since the Fund was created back in 2008 by local GP, Sarah McGregor, it has supported 65 individuals, 1 family and 2 groups to the tune of nearly £9,000.
The Pinto Tribute Fund was set up by Sarah following the death of her running partner, Alistair Sim (Pinto) in 2008 at the age of 56 who was a motivated and enthusiastic member of the Moray Road Runners Club.
Sarah decided to organise an event to raise money for a worthwhile cause in his memory. Due to his passion for running, Sarah has organised a trio of 3k races in Elgin every summer since 2008. The entry fee and sponsor money raised at this annual series is used for the Pinto Tribute Fund.
In his earlier years, Pinto had turned to alcohol to relieve his boredom on the streets and soon became dependant on this drug. When he realised he was killing himself and destroying the lives of those around him, he managed to stop drinking and channelled his energies into running. Since then he achieved great times in running marathons, half marathons and 10k distances. He only took up running at the age of 44. Pinto often commented to Sarah that he would love to help youngsters to stay on the right track in life, therefore the fund goes towards preventing young people from going down the wrong path by channelling them towards participation in sport and/or helping committed youngsters who struggle to manage their sport financially.
The fund has helped individuals and groups in Speyside, Elgin, Buckie, Fochabers, Hopeman, Cullen, Rothes, Forres, Keith, Lossiemouth and Lhanbryde. The sports and activities that have been supported include dance, figure skating, football, horse riding, gymnastics, martial arts, golf, motorsports, tennis, leisure facility membership, swimming, outdoor adventure, ballet, rugby league and athletics.
One of the recipients of the fund stated ‘this support has helped me get motivated, more focused and I set goals for myself’. This individual is hoping to join the army in the near future so the fund has helped him to maintain a healthier lifestyle and help with his future career ambitions. Another recipient reported that he felt more confident and focussed and that he had made new friends and was learning about responsibility.
The Pinto series proceeds for 2015 has just been verified and totals £595 which will continue to support local youngsters over the forthcoming year. Due to the success of this project particularly over the past year the sub-committee of the fund are also looking for further donations to support this project in the future. With existing funds being limited to the above amount, the fund will only be able to support a handful of individuals over the next year. Any organisation that would be willing to contribute to this fund can contact Sports Development on 01343 563657. People can also contact this number for more information on the fund or for an application form.