By Amelia, 12, Jill Dando News
Paula Radcliffe has hailed the UNICEF charity kickstart to reopen The Paula Radcliffe Centre named after her at Priory Community School Academy.
The centre will boost health and fitness after Covid19 with a 837 mile virtual journey on 12th April from John O’Groats to Land’s End to raise money for troubled Yemen.
Students, teachers, gym members and local businesses will be taking part in 30 minutes slots to reach the sponsored 837 mile journey – with all proceeds to UNICEF to help Yemen.
The PRC is named after world athletics legend Paula Radcliffe. Paula ended her career in 2015, and her ladies marathon record of 2:15:25, set in in London in 2003 stood until 2019.
Paula said: “The importance of the centre reopening is huge for the wellbeing of all members of the community.
“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.”
She added: “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.”
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.”
CEO of The Priory learning Trusr, Neville Coles, 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 PRC is used by PCSA students during the day,
And for the rest of the time, 7 days a week, evenings and all weekend, people in the community can use it for an incredible £21 public and £16 for concessions.
PCSA is part of The Priory Learning Trust.