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Rhyl Raptors in rapture thanks to money seized from criminals


Rhyl Raptors

A North Wales wheelchair sports club is racing ahead thanks to funding taken from the proceeds of crime. The club, Rhyl Raptors was visited at Rhyl Leisure Centre on Grange Road on 25 June by North Wales Police and Crime Commissioner Andy Dunbobbin to see how the money is being used for the good of the community, and particularly to support the club in expanding their storage capacity for loading and unloading sports wheelchairs.

The source of the grant is the Your Community, Your Choice fund, which supports grass-roots organisations across the region and is backed by the North Wales Police and Crime Commissioner, North Wales Police and Community Trust and North Wales Police. The funding for Your Community, Your Choice comes partly from money seized by the courts through the Proceeds of Crime Act, with the rest from the Police and Crime Commissioner.

Over the eleven years since Your Community, Your Choice started, almost £600,000 has been awarded to nearly 200 projects working to reduce crime in their neighbourhoods and to support the priorities in the Police and Crime Commissioner’s Police and Crime Plan.

Rhyl Raptors run three sports sessions a week and the club attracts members from all six counties in North Wales. The club provides an inclusive and supportive environment where people of all abilities are given the opportunity to engage in sport, fostering community, confidence, and physical well-being. As an example of its work, the club is taking part in a North Wales Wheelchair Basketball League throughout this year for a range of different ages.

Given the busy sporting schedule of the club, it is crucial that members’ wheelchairs are kept safe for everyone to be able to take part and this is where the funding for the new storage will help. During the visit to the club, the Commissioner, Dave Evans and Kelsey Reed from PACT and local PCSO Thatcher Rysavy watched the club’s game night, saw how the members were actively involved in a range of wheelchair sports and heard about the impact the funding will have on everyone involved. The visitors also helped start the Rhyl Raptors versus Conwy Thunder basketball game, with PCSO Rysavy, who used to play basketball regularly in her younger years, doing the official ‘tip-off’ with the ball to start the match.  

The team from Rhyl raptors commented: “As a club, Rhyl Raptors have seen an incredible growth within our membership post Covid and as a result we are quickly outgrowing our current storage facility where we keep all our sports wheelchairs. Thanks to the funding received via Your Community, your Choice and in partnership with Denbighshire Leisure we will now have an amazing storage unit we can make use of to allow the club to continue to grow.

“We are so pleased that the Police and Crime Commissioner was with us on our games night as it showcased the juniors and adults we have who benefit massively from the work we do.”

Rebecca Roberts, mother of a Rhyl Raptors team member said: “Joining the Raptors has been wonderful for my daughter’s confidence and it has really helped her to get active, and to feel part of a team and a family that have been really supportive of her.” 

Mark Williams, Founder and CEO of Limb-Art, former Paralympian and current Rhyl Raptors sponsor said: “Raptors founder and fellow former Paralympian Mark Hayes and I were supported when we were young by local companies and local charities and people trying to do good. As such, it’s a great position to be in now, running a company, and being able to give something back to the next generation, who could be in it for the sport, just be in it for fun or could be our future Paralympians.”   

Police and Crime Commissioner Andy Dunbobbin said “I was delighted to visit everyone at Rhyl Raptors. The club helps build a sense of belonging and empowerment for everyone involved, and that is why the club is so important for the community. Rhyl Raptors stand as a great example of energy and empowerment for people in North Wales and I am glad that through Your Community, Your Choice we can help widen access, activity, and inclusivity for everyone involved.”

PACT Chairman Ashley Rogers stated: “Your Community, Your Choice has a positive impact in empowering organisations and communities right across North Wales and Rhyl Raptors is a great example of this in action. We are pleased to have been able to provide funding for the club and to help provide a place where people with disabilities have the opportunity to get active and take part in sports like wheelchair basketball. Helping fund projects like this is a slam dunk for Your Community, Your Choice and for the people of North Wales!”

North Wales Police Assistant Chief Constable Gareth Evans added: “North Wales Police is pleased to have helped fund such an important project within Rhyl Raptors. Not only does the club help support physical and mental wellbeing within the community, but it also offers opportunities and support to children and young people to get active in sport. We hope the improved storage facilities at the club will help keep their equipment safer and more secure, so they can concentrate even more on their training and performance and on being the excellent sports people they are.”

To learn more about PACT visit 

For more information on Rhyl Raptors, visit: