Olympic stars help hospital kids train for charity race

Echo: Taking a breather – Olympic stars Darren Campbell and Jeanette Kwakye with Hayden, Giles, Lucy, Charlie and Ellie Curtis, from Rayleigh, at the training session in Battersea Park Taking a breather – Olympic stars Darren Campbell and Jeanette Kwakye with Hayden, Giles, Lucy, Charlie and Ellie Curtis, from Rayleigh, at the training session in Battersea Park

IT’S not every day you get to train with British Olympic heroes.

But two patients from Great Ormond Street Children’s Hospital got just that opportunity.

Six-year-old Charlie Curtis, from Rayleigh – and his family – all got to train with Olympic gold medallist Darren Campbell and Team GB sprinter Jeanette Kwakye.

Also taking part was eightyear- old Grace Snow, from Hockley, as the session was filmed for Sky Sports show Game Changers.

Grace, who receives treatment at the hospital for cystic fibrosis, was one of 14 patients and their siblings who were put through their paces with games and activities.

Charlie has been treated at Great Ormond Street since birth for Goldenhar syndrome, which results in incomplete development of the ear, nose, lip and jaw.

He and ten-year-old brother Hayden, sister Lucy, three, and parents Ellie and Giles, all joined in with the other patients and families as Campbell and Kwakye passed on their expertise.

Campbell won a surprise gold medal in the 4x100m relay at the Sydney Olympic Games in 2000 and Kwakye competed in the 2008 Games.

All the patients and their families will take part in the Royal Bank of Canada Race for the Kids 5k family fun run on Sunday, June 8, to raise vital funds for the hospital.

As a build-up to the event in Battersea Park, Campbell and Kwakye ran the session in front of Sky’s cameras and the result can be seen on Saturday, May 10, at 9am on Sky Sports 1 or 3.

Giles, Charlie’s dad, said: “We all had a lot of fun at the training day and we can’t wait to put what we have learnt into practice.” The session involved fun games and activities to improve general fitness, but the kids also got tips on their sprint starts and running style, so they don’t get tired on their 5k fun run.

Grace’s dad Matt said: “We had fun. Grace especially loved meeting Darren and Jeanette.”

The hospital, one of the world’s leading children’s hospitals, has its own charity that needs to raise £50million each year to help rebuild, refurbish, provide up-to-date equipment and fund research into better treatments for its patients.

Last year’s family fun run raised £672,000, with everyone involved hoping to make this year’s event even bigger and better.

Olympic champion Campbell said: “We were so inspired by the patients and families we met at our training session.

It was a real privilege to have the chance to help them prepare for their race.”

For more information on the fun run, visit www.

raceforthekids.co.uk

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