University bosses go the distance for charity challenge

"Donna Louise does amazing things for terminally ill young people and their families. When you think of what they have to go through everyday of their lives, this is quite a small challenge really."

Professor Liz Barnes, Vice-Chancellor

Staffordshire University's Vice-Chancellor and Pro Vice-Chancellor are the latest names to join Donna Louise Hospice's gruelling Tower to Tower challenge.

Professor Liz Barnes and Professor Ieuan Ellis will join a 12 strong team who will cycle, row and walk from the Eiffel Tower in Paris to London's Tower Bridge in May.

They join Stoke City veterans Tony Pulis and Rory Delap plus Senior Lecturer in Sports Therapy Steve Bateman, who is taking part for the second time.

The unique challenge will start in the shadow of The Eiffel Tower in Paris and end, 560 kilometres and 4 days later, at the iconic Tower Bridge in London. This challenge, in this format and following this route, has never been attempted before.

Professor Ellis, who used to be an international marathon runner, said: “It is a fantastic cause and it is a real privilege to be invited to take part.

“It is the boat that is probably the most challenging. Rowing - and not a direct route - across the Channel for 40 hours is going to take some real hard work.”

Staffordshire University is the official education partner for Tower to Tower 2018, giving the team access to their state-of-the-art sports fitness testing and training facilities and expertise. Post-graduate students will also be joining the team to provide sports therapy throughout the challenge.

Tower to Tower 2018 will be a gruelling, four day challenge during which the team will raise awareness of the challenges faced by children and young adults with shortened life expectancy and their families, including severe sleep deprivation. Many children and young adults with life threatening conditions require round-the-clock care and sleep can become a challenge for the parents and carers who look after them.

Professor Barnes said: “With only eight weeks to go or less and having not done a lot of sport for a long time it's going to take some hard work.

“Donna Louise does amazing things for terminally ill young people and their families. When you think of what they have to go through everyday of their lives, this is quite a small challenge really."

She added: “We will be raising money all year round for this course. Just please get behind us and back us."

Donations can be made on Professor Barnes', Professor Ellis' and Steve Bateman's fundraising pages here:

https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/LizBarnes5

https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/IeuanEllis

https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/SteveBateman

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