Athletics legend Radcliffe hails charity kickstart re-opening of sports centre

Adam Lewis outside The Paula Radcliffe Centre

Personal Trainer and Rehabilitation Consultant Adam Lewis outside The Paula Radcliffe Centre at Priory Community School Academy. - Credit: Shane Dean

Paula Radcliffe has hailed the UNICEF charity kickstart to re-open The Paula Radcliffe Centre at Priory Community School Academy.

The centre will look to boost health and fitness following the continued easing of a third nationwide lockdown with a 837-mile virtual journey on April 12 from John O’Groats to Land’s End to raise money for troubled Yemen.

Students, teachers, gym members and local businesses will take part in 30-minute slots to complete the sponsored 837-mile journey - with all proceeds to UNICEF to help Yemen.

Radcliffe, who ended her career in 2015 and set a women's marathon record of 2:15.25 in London in 2003 which stood until 2019, said: “The importance of the centre reopening is huge for the wellbeing of all members of the community.

Adam Lewis on the exercise bike

Personal Trainer and Rehabilitation Consultant Adam Lewis on the exercise bike in The Paula Radcliffe Centre. - Credit: Shane Dean

“All members of society have been impacted by this pandemic and the importance of physical activity and access to such centres has never been more vital.

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“Physical activity and exercise supports both physical and mental health of all. Children in particular need access to regular exercise for their health. 

“Combining this with such an initiative to raise vital funds for UNICEF and concretely do something to help is an excellent idea and good luck to all involved.”

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Organiser Vanessa Mawford said: “We are so delighted to be able to reopen the Paula Radcliffe Centre. 

“To celebrate this, we want to help people in Yemen who are going through immense difficulties right now. We are urging people in the community to come and join our fundraiser.

“We have been able to return to education but many children around the world especially in Yemen are faced with enormous challenges each day.

“Paula is a brilliant advocate of fitness, health and education, and is a fitting name for our centre.”

Neville Coles, CEO of The Priory Learning Trust, said: “As an educational charity we think it's our civic duty to provide facilities to the community.

"The PRC is a shining example of such provision. High-quality and low-cost fitness facilities in the midst of our community. Thank you to everyone in the community who have supported the centre over the last five years."

The Centre is used by Academy students during the day and for the rest of the time, seven days a week, evenings and all weekend, people in the community can use it for an incredible £21 and £16 for concessions.

To sign up or for more information visit the website or email or phone 01934 319140.

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