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Yorkshire squash stars in family fund-raising bid
The Lesley Willstrop Squash Doubles tournament, which has raised close to £25,000 for various charities, will take place for the fourth time in September 2011.
But, in addition to this year's event, Lesley's three sons - world No4 squash player James Willstrop, England Squash Coach David Campion, and Lee Campion - will be attempting to ride together from Whitehaven to Sunderland, coast-to-coast, setting a target of just short of 50 miles of undulating terrain on each of three days.
They will be raising money for two charities based in Yorkshire: Candlelighters, who support children with cancer in Leeds; and 'HER breast friend', a Hull-based charity who support women in dealing with breast cancer.
The three brothers will be backed by the former women's world champion Vanessa Atkinson, a keen mountain biking enthusiast; Sarah Kippax, the world No18; Simon Parke, a former world No3; and a ten-man support group of friends from the Queens and Pontefract clubs in Yorkshire.
"We know that 50 miles a day doesn't sound much," said Willstrop, as he looked ahead to the event, scheduled to run from May 30th to June 1st. "But even though our livelihoods depend on a certain level of athleticism, we are under no illusions: cycling is a far different stress than squash.
"The saddle soreness for a start will be excruciating for squash players who rarely cycle! The whole team will have to train very hard for this, and the non athletes will need a lot of encouragement.
"I am pleased to have a long summer with few squash events, allowing me the time to have a go at this," added the 27-year-old England international.
David Campion, who has been the driving force in adding the bike ride to the fund-raising activities, also added that they had been keen to raise money for worthwhile local institutions: "We are thrilled to be going for this in honour of these two fantastic charities, as well as in mum's honour," said the 2008 British O35 Open champion.
"It means a lot to us to have a direct impact locally as opposed to supporting the mainstream agencies. We have been in touch with both charities, and we hope to build a relationship with them."
Oldest brother Lee, who has been instrumental in gaining some solid financial support already, is proud of the legacy they have built for Lesley: "We know how difficult it is for cancer patients and their families, and we are so pleased such good things can come from our mum's death to ovarian cancer in 2000."
The public have a chance to get behind the team and their efforts; should anyone wish to contribute online, please visit: www.justgiving.com/140mile-challenge
All other donations can be made by contacting www.herbreastfriends.org quoting ‘Lesley Willstrop memorial'.
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– but the sailors praise the new boats
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Photo Credit: Dario Belingheri/Bettini Photo
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photo David Cannon/Getty images