|Runners aim high to
help disabled athletes
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NEW HEIGHTS... The Clayton Harriers eight
who will tackle Everest with Shelly Woods.
A GROUP of Clayton Harriers are scaling
Everest to help a local disadvantaged
youngster achieve their sporting dream.
The eight - Garry Wilkinson, John Roche,
Andrew Stubbs, Craig Moulding, Neil Worswick,
Tyrone Morgan, Peter Booth and Paralympian
Mark Brown - are hoping to raise enough money
to sponsor a local disabled sportsperson.
They are having a year-long fundraising
plan with the culmination the 26-mile climb up
the world’s tallest mountain.
“We are a group of eight friends who have
the common interest of running, we are at the
local running club and we are always looking
for the next challenge,” said John Roche.
“Garry originally did Everest in 1999 and
we got chatting about it and decided that was
the biggest challenge we could do.
“We decided to do it for charity and we
talked about the Paralympics. We had watched
it in Athens because of Mark (Brown) taking
part in the 5000m and we all watched things
like the wheelchair athletics and basketball.
“And we all said that in all our years of
training, we have never seen a wheelchair
athlete on our local track. So we decided we
wanted to do something about it.
“We got in touch with “Kids Get
Going”, a charity which caters for disabled
athletes and they told us about Shelly Woods
from Leyland, who is a high profile wheelchair
athlete going for the Beijing Paralympics in
2008. Some of the money raised will go to
assist her in training and travel expenses.
But then we wanted someone even closer to us
and couldn’t find anyone to help us.
“So we are appealing for people to get in
touch with us about local disabled athletes in
whatever sport who we could raise money for
They have so far raised about £9,000 with
an aim of £50,000 with various events
throughout the year.
But the main one is Everest and the group
will head to Nepal in November where, in order
to acclimatise to the high altitude, they will
ascend to the start over 15 days.
The race will start near Everest Base Camp
at 17,500 feet and finish in the Sherpa
“capital” at Namche Bazarre at 11, 300ft.
The main ascent is 18,500ft.
The course is 26.2 miles and is undulating
with two main climbs. It will start at 7am and
must be completed before 6pm.
“It will be hard as the eight of us are
different levels of ability and experience but
we have all upped our mileage and are all
determined,” added John.
The charity “Kids Get Going” gives
disabled children and young people, up to the
age of 26, the chance of participating in
sport. It provides specially built
sports wheelchairs to disadvantaged youngsters
so they can take part in athletics, tennis,
basketball and others sports and also assists
with physiotherapy and travel.
And some of the money the eight raise will
buy some of these sports wheelchairs which
will be donated to the local athletic tracks
for general use.
The group are also on the hunt for
commercial sponsors - especially to put their
name on the special van which the eight have
bought. This will take them to Everest but it
will also used be used for local charity
It has already been donated by the Harriers
to help transport items raised for the Tsunami
appeal to various centres around East
As well as Everest, the group will be
taking part in other events throughout the
year, including the Three Highest Peaks in the
UK in 24 hours (Snowdon, Scafell Pike and Ben
Nevis), an Everest Marathon Ball and Dinner
Dance where Accrington's marathon runner Ron
Hill MBE will be one of the special guests.
To get in touch or make a contribution