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How pupils shamed teacher into celebrity get-fit fundraiser

Charlotte DeRenzy will join athlete Greg Rutherford on 46-mile Oman Mountain Desert Trek

Desert trekking - Charlotte DeRenzy-Jones with her trusty hiking boots before going off to trek across the Oman desert to raise funds for CoppaFeel

Teacher Charlotte DeRenzy Jones is set to take part in a 46-mile desert trek – with Olympic athlete Greg Rutherford for company.

Charlotte, who lives at Lower Cumberworth, will join the multi-medal winning long jumper, celebrity vlogger Giovanna Fletcher and 55 other fundraisers on the four-day Oman Mountain Desert Trek in November.

The challenge, which aims to raise thousands of pounds for breast cancer charity CoppaFeel!, will take the competitors divided into two teams from the coast town of Dibba to the summit of the 1,800-metre Gebel Qihwi via remote villages, wadis and canyons.

The 36-year-old mother of two was one of 400 people who applied to take part and is one of only 56 nationally – and 12 from the north of England – to be selected.

Charlotte, an assistant headteacher at Headfield Junior School, Dewsbury, said pupils at the school were partly responsible for her deciding to do the challenge.

She said: “I applied because I was taking a New Year’s Resolution assembly at school and I said my resolution was to get fit and run the Leeds 10k. The children looked at me a bit bemused because that was my New Year’s resolution last year – and I didn’t do it!”

Determined to make good on her promise this time, Charlotte joined Slimming World, shed two stones and ran the Leeds 10k. “Once I was fit and active I started thinking what my next challenge might be,” she said.

Desert trekking - Charlotte DeRenzy-Jones with a picture of herself and Greg Rutherford before going off to trek across the Oman desert to raise funds for CoppaFeel

 

Charlotte said she was also keen to support a cancer charity. “I knew people who have had bowel cancer and skin cancer,” she said. “Since getting a place on the trek, a very good friend as been diagnosed with breast cancer and that has given me even more drive to take part.”

As a student at Leeds University, Charlotte was in charge of fundraising at the Student Union rag office – helping to raise £60,000 for good causes in a single year. She was also involved in fundraising as a student at Greenhead College.

For the desert trek, Charlotte has already exceeded her initial target of £2,775 by raising £3,280 – putting her top of the “leader board” in Greg Rutherford’s team. Events have included a “Breast Brunch Ever” and a raffle for items donated by local businesses. Charlotte will also hold a bucket collection from 11am to 4pm on August 19 at the Go Outdoors store in Middlestown.

Meanwhile, she’s training hard. “I will be walking with one of the other trekkers in the Peak District and I have taken on a personal trainer who is making me run around reservoirs and up and down cliff faces with four-litre bottles of water on my back!”

Charlotte, who grew up in Lepton, is being supported by husband Matt and their children Phoebe, who is four-and-a-half, and Freddie, aged two-and-a-half. But she adds: “I don’t think Phoebe and Freddie are fully aware of what mum’s let herself in for!”

Go to omancoppafeel.everydayhero.com/uk/oh-man-charlotte-what-are-you-doing-now

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