Epsom Derby Day - 5th June 2010 

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Sparks Official Charity of Investec Derby Festival

Sparks, the children’s medical research charity has been announced as the Official Charity of the 2010 Investec Derby Festival. Held over two days, Friday 4th and Saturday 5th June at Epsom Downs Racecourse in Surrey, The Investec Derby Festival is one of the most famous and iconic events in both the sporting and social calendars.

Investec Derby

John Shanley, Chief Executive of Sparks, commented: “Sparks is deeply grateful to have been chosen as the Official Charity for this year’s Investec Derby Festival. Not only does it offer a wonderful fundraising opportunity, but also a tremendous, high-profile way to raise awareness of Sparks and the vital paediatric medical research we fund across the UK.

“Sparks is a charity founded by leading sportsmen and women and continues to enjoy the support of famous horse racing champions like John Francome and Richard Dunwoody—a man who has even trekked to the South Pole and walked 1,000 miles in 1,000 hours across Newmarket to raise funds for us!

“What inspires them and all our great supporters is the knowledge that pioneering medical research for children in the UK depends heavily on charities like Sparks. Without us, and without the support of invaluable partnerships like the Investec Derby Festival, much of this life-saving, life-improving research simply wouldn’t get off the ground.”

World Cup legend Sir Geoff Hurst, MBE, Sparks’s president 2010, said: “I’m thrilled that the Investec Derby Festival has kindly decided to back Sparks. I’m certain that together we’ll make a winning team. Sparks’s goal of helping more children to be born healthy and grow up healthy is even more important than scoring the winner in a World Cup Final.”

Sparks plans to have a number of its famous Ambassadors from the worlds of sport, entertainment and broadcasting attend over the two day festival, and the charity hopes to raise money for its cutting edge children’s medical research through a variety of fundraising activities.

Rupert Trevelyan, Managing Director of Epsom Downs Racecourse commented; “The research funded by Sparks makes a real difference and will continue to improve the lives of sick babies and children. We hope, as the Official Charity of the Investec Derby Festival, Sparks will benefit through the generation of essential fundraising opportunities and awareness.”

The first day of the prestigious Investec Derby Festival, Ladies Day conjures up images of style, sophistication and socialising. Features of the day include the annual ‘Style on the Downs’ competition and the Group 1, Investec Oaks; held over the famous 1 ½ mile undulating course this race is contended by only the finest of fillies, therefore, the action on the course is matched by the style and glamour off it.

Derby Day hosts the greatest flat race in the world, The Investec Derby. Dating back to 1780, this iconic day attracts the UK’s largest sporting crowd with over 100,000 people in attendance. The unique contours of the track at Epsom are unparalleled and prove the ultimate test of skill and stamina for both horse and jockey warranting the £1,250,000 prize money on offer.

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