Visually-impaired fundraising walkers stop off at Teesside
Visually-impaired fundraising hikers rested their weary limbs during a coast to coast walk with help from Teesside University sports therapy students.
Shawnie Binns, second year sports therapy student, with Joe Churcher, who was among the RP Fighting Blindness walkers.
BSc and MSc Sports Therapy students from Teesside University helped to offer some respite to the 18 walkers who tackled a gruelling coast to coast route between the shores of the Irish and the North Seas, to raise funds and awareness of RP Fighting Blindness.
Dave Head, chief executive of RP Fighting Blindness, said: 'Retinitis Pigmentosa (RP) is a genetic condition which leads to gradual loss of sight. We are walking to raise money for vital research.
'Several of the walkers have RP while others have family members with this incurable disease. Some relied on friends to describe scenery along the walk and others enjoyed the view while still able. The aim of everyone is to ensure future generations have no such concerns. We all really enjoyed visiting the University for the first bit of respite eight days into our 10-day coast to coast walk.'
Gillian Naylor, Programme Leader in Applied Sports Therapy in the University’s School of Social Sciences & Law, said: 'The students are always keen to get involved in charity events which allow them to demonstrate their skills while gaining practical hands-on experience.
'Our facilities range from a hydrotherapy unit to a full working sports therapy clinic within the University, which enables to students to gain experience on campus as well as being out on placement.'
Hayley Greensmith, second year BSc Sports Therapy, said: 'The facilities at the University are brilliant and being able to get involved in something like this provides an opportunity to help support a charity while gaining some great experience.
'We get involved in a lot of charity and sports events, which give us a chance to put into practice what we’ve learned. Sports therapists play a vital role in supporting sportsmen and women before and after sporting events and our course looks at everything from psychology to rehabilitation and prevention of injuries.'
The RP Fighting Blindness walkers set off from St Bees in Cumbria on August 21, walking across the country in 10 days. RP affects as many as 20,000 people in the UK.
01 September 2012
In the News
Students' walkers support
Evening Gazette, 03/09/2012, p.11
Visually-impaired fundraising hikers rested their weary limbs last month during a coast to coast walk with help from Teesside University sports therapy students.