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The Empire Casino is proud to be supporting SportsAid athlete…

WHEELCHAIR BASKETBALL PLAYER CHRISTY GREGAN

It was PE teachers at school in Hounslow who persuaded Christy, 24, who has cerebral palsy, to start training seriously for wheelchair basketball.

Six months later he was scouted by the Great Britain coach and since then he has competed all over the UK and Europe, helping the GB Squad take gold in the Kitakyushu Champions International Cup.

Since the age of 14, Christy has been a member of the London Titans Wheelchair Basketball team, the largest and most successful club in southern England.

Now he wants to represent England at the World Championships and the Olympics, but getting to that level is a big financial challenge as well as a physical one. The SportsAid award from The Empire will help fund repairs and spares for his basketball chair, accommodation costs, and weekly travel to Sheffield where he trains at the English Institute of Sport.


Christy has yet to grab a spot in the 15-man team guaranteed to make the plane for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. This elite team currently holds the world title and European silver medal.


“Things have got a bit harder for me, trying to break into the best team in the world.


“I’ve grown up with many of the great athletes in the world team and their success has made me even more determined to get into the top squad.


“Lots of athletes move in and out within a two- or four-year cycle, and the intensity of the training programme means Tokyo isn’t totally off the cards, although Paris 2024 may be a more realistic goal," says Christy.


Christy, a Brentford FC fan, names golfer Seve Ballesteros as his biggest sporting inspiration.

“Despite not having any of the tools or resources he needed to compete, Seve’s drive and determination enabled him to become the best in the sport that he was passionate about,” says Christy. “My other heroes are my parents. Without their commitment and support I would not be where I am today.”


CAESARS AND SPORTSAID

Christy is just one of the inspirational young athletes being helped by Caesars Foundation, the charitable arm of Caesars Entertainment, to fulfil their potential and bring Olympic and Paralympic medals home to Britain.

Since 1976, SportsAid has helped many of nation's most successful sportsmen and women, including Chris Hoy, Mo Farah, Jessica Ennis-Hill, Ellie Simmonds and Bradley Wiggins.

We are proud to stand alongside the charity.