The sports club which inspired Paralympics and world superstar Hannah Cockroft is to fold.

The Cardinals Wheelchair Sports Club, which was formed 20 years ago and was the first club for the double Paralympian gold medallist and world record holder is to cease at the end of the year.

Hannah joined the club at the age of 11 and became one of its stars.

Since then, the club has inspired hundreds of wheelchair sports users in its 20 years to participate, but is now to voluntarily wind up.

It is hoped the activities will be taken up by two new clubs, one in Kirklees and one in Calderdale.

Officials are working with disabled students in schools, notably Newsome High School and Rastrick High School, and hope a new generation of sports stars will be produced.

Chairman Malcolm Kielty MBE said: “The time, we feel, is right as the club has been the vehicle for so many successful wheelchair sports people to progress their chosen activities.

Basketball players from The Cardinals
Basketball players from The Cardinals
 

“It has raised some £300,000 since its conception to develop sports and fun activities.

“It has provided expertise and specific sports equipment, social and competitive sporting choices at wheelchair dance, curling, tennis, athletics, basketball and Rugby

League, and pathways to many more”.

The club has been working with the fledgling clubs, Halifax Wheelchair Rugby League Club, soon to expand to a full wheelchair sports club, and Kirklees Wheelchair Sports Club, which has also spawned the development of a Kirklees Rugby League side.

They are getting coaching from the Huddersfield Giants.

The spiritual home of the Cardinals has been Whitcliffe Mount Sports Centre at Cleckheaton but the new Kirklees club is based at Almondbury Communiy School.

Mr Kielty said: “It will be perhaps a sad time but it’s the turn of the next generation to take things forward.

“We are ending things on our terms, our choice, and we can pass on funding to the two new clubs to help them.

“We are also working with both Kirklees and Calderdale councils to develop wheelchair sport. The future is bright”.

The Cardinals are to hold a past and present members evening on December 12 with some sporting activity at North Bridge Leisure Centre Haliafx between 7pm and 9pm, follwoed by a social evening at The Shay.