News report from the Accrington Observer
The Challenge (Report Feb 05)
A GROUP of Clayton Harriers are scaling Everest to
help a local disabled 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 disadvantaged
They are having a year-long fundraising plan with the culmination the
26-mile marathon run from the Base Camp on 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
"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 and
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
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 Lancashire.
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.
Dany Robson Accrington Observer (12.2.05)