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Deans don running gear for charity

12 May 2011 @TeessideUni


A Teesside University Dean and Assistant Dean have ditched their mortar boards and donned running gear in the name of charity.

Dr Mark Simpson, Dean of the School of Social Sciences & Law and Assistant Dean Dr Keith Hurst are running in the Great North Run in aid of two cancer charities.

And both are using the University’s expert sport science service to step their training up a gear.

Keith, 43, says: ‘I’ve lost both my mum and dad to cancer over the last couple of years so I am running in aid of Macmillan Cancer Support.’ Keith’s father died just a week before he started work at Teesside University in October 2010.

Dean Mark Simpson, 37, has been supervising a student doing her Master of Philosophy (MPhil) this year who has been diagnosed with cancer: ‘I’ve been inspired by her and the brave way she is facing things. 'I want to make a small contribution and show my support, so I am raising money for Cancer Research UK.’

Keith has set a goal time of two hours and ten minutes. Mark’s last ran the Great North Run in 2007 but has had back problems: ‘My goal is to just get round the course,’ he laughs.

And both are hoping the expertise, advice and support of the Sport Science Service will help them reach their goals before the Great North Run on 18 September.

Accredited with the British Association of Sport and Exercise Science With staff accredited with the British Association of Sport and Exercise Science, the service will assess their fitness levels and highlight strengths and weaknesses so they can set goals to improve their sporting performance.

Dr Matthew Weston, who runs the service, has over 12 years’ experience of supporting athletes: ‘The service is not just for professional athletes; it is for anyone who wants to take their fitness to the next level. Our facilities are world class with three exercise laboratories fully equipped for all measurements of fitness.

Keith says: ‘We have a great deal of expertise in sport and exercise which it is fantastic to be able to use. It will remove all the guesswork from my training.’

Mark adds: ‘Their challenge will be to get me round the course. I’ve already raised £500 and I am hoping to double that before September.’

>Donations for Keith Hurst can be made at >Donations for Mark Simpson can be made at >More about fitness testing at Teesside University

In the News

Running for Laura
Evening Gazette, 15/08/2011, p.15
Dr Mark Simpson, Dean of the School of Social Sciences & Law at Teesside University, and Assistant Dean Dr Keith Hurst are to take part in the Great North Run in memory of Laura Gourlay who died from