Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

High Fliers on Crash Course for Their Cause

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

High Fliers on Crash Course for Their Cause

Article excerpt

Byline: By Hannah Davies

Two middle-aged women are shrugging off expectations and preparing for the biggest physical challenge of their life ( all in aid of charity. Hannah Davies reports.

Barbara Gubbins and Janet Eyre are two high-flying professional women.

But because of the demands of their work ( and despite their best efforts ( their fitness has suffered.

Now they have decided to combine their get-fit efforts with some serious fundraising for a project which Janet, 50, leads at the Child Development Centre at Newcastle's Royal Victoria Infirmary to help youngsters with cerebral palsy.

The two women have little time to get themselves fighting fit for the Great North Run on September 18.

As neither Janet nor Barbara, 53, has run the race before, neither is a runner and both are unfit, there is a lot of work to be done so they can complete the 13.1 miles.

But they have a steely determination to reach the finish line.

As professor of paediatric neuroscience, Janet has been undertaking a research project to help children with cerebral palsy to perform everyday tasks which they can struggle with.

One successful endeavour is already helping children aged nine to 11 to improve their movement through the use of sports and toys.

Janet and Barbara ( chief executive of the Children's Foundation ( want to start a second project, focusing on children aged three to five and costing pounds 30,000 a year, so they hope to raise pounds 5,000 each in sponsorship. Their running campaign is called Limbering up for Cerebral Palsy.

Janet says: "The training for the run is going to be painful and not particularly nice. We are going to have to work very hard to follow the set programme.

"At the moment, we are doing one-mile runs and we are starting to build up the distance slowly."

Barbara says: "I want to encourage other people to challenge themselves. …

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