Nursery owner Joanne Wood is running this year’s London Marathon – to help disabled children achieve their sporting dreams.
Joanne, who owns Water’s Edge Day Nursery Ltd in Elland, is training hard for the event on April 24 – often running at 6.30am before taking her own children to school then putting in a hard day at work.
She hopes to raise at least £2,000 for the Get Kids Going charity, which gives disabled young people the opportunity to play sport at all levels.
Joanne’s brother Mark and personal trainer Lorraine will be running alongside her – aiming to each raise a further £2,000 for the cause.
Joanne said that working with children every day had inspired her to raise money for a young people’s charity. She said. “There are so many amazing charities to choose from but this stood out as it not only provides disabled children with desperately needed equipment but gives them a life of their own and a fantastic chance to participate in sport.”
Joanne first started running two years ago, when she set herself the challenge of completing the Great North Run – on that occasion raising money for a children’s cancer charity.
Watch Huddersfield Marathon Band starting the 2014 race
“It took a lot of hard work and dedication to reach the point of being able to run 13.1 miles but it was such an amazing day and I ended up quite enjoying the training,” she said.
“The following year I did the run again with six of my best friends. So I thought, where do I go from here? Then my good friend and personal trainer Lorraine turned 50 in January and it had always been her dream to run the London Marathon so when she asked me to join her, I jumped at the chance.
“Training is well under way and it really is a challenge, juggling family time with work and all the training, but it will all be worth it.
“I’m excited and apprehensive but the thought of my husband, Matthew, and our seven-year-old twins Isabelle and Emma being there to cheer me on will definitely spur me on to the finish line.”
Get Kids Going supports disabled young people who play and participate in sport at all levels and who have the potential to take part in events all over the world, including the Commonwealth Games, the Winter Paralympics, the Rio Summer Paralympics and more.
The charity provides grants and helps pay for specially constructed sports wheelchairs, which cost about £4,000 each.