B+K Life President, John Kirkland OBE, has become the first patron of The Geoff Capes Foundation – a recently launched national charity based in Derby. It raises funds to improve the lives of disadvantaged children and young people by providing them opportunities to participate in sport and other recreational activities, enabling them to participate in society as independent, mature and responsible individuals.
The charity was started by the legendary British athlete, Geoff Capes, a British former shot putter, strongman and professional Highland Games competitor. As an athlete he represented both England and Great Britain in field athletics, specialising in the shot-put. He was twice Commonwealth champion, twice European champion, and three times an Olympian. As a strongman, he twice won the title of World’s Strongest Man and also had numerous other titles including Europe’s Strongest Man and Britain’s Strongest Man. As a Highland Games competitor, he was six times world champion, first winning the title in Lagos in 1981, and held world records in numerous events. Having grown up in rural poverty and overcome many challenges, it’s Geoff’s passion to take the best of all he has experienced to provide opportunities for disadvantaged children and young people to participate in sport and other recreational and leisure activities, enabling them to improve their lives.
John Kirkland said: ““ My mother was a school teacher and my father started his career as an apprentice joiner. I have been lucky enough to be able to combine this heritage within my business life and my former Chairmanship of the Derbyshire and East Midlands Learning & Skills Council.
“I am now very happy to be able to continue to help young people through this excellent charity. It is indeed a very worthwhile cause which will help young people improve their confidence, self esteem and ultimately enable them to lead a fulfilled and rewarding life”
Ranjit Banwait, President of The Geoff Capes Foundation, said: “On behalf of the charity, we’re delighted to have someone of John Kirkland’s calibre as the first patron. He brings incredible skills and experience which will be invaluable in our work improving the lives of disadvantaged children and young people, through the power of sport. We look forward to working closely with John”.