trio
Tom, Frazer, Leigh

An Alvechurch resident is aiming to complete the Berlin Marathon in September, despite having had knee surgery in March.

Leigh Church, along with friends Tom Bradley, of Barnt Green, and Frazer Slade, of Alvechurch, is raising funds for Get Kids Going!, a national charity that gives children and young people with disabilities the opportunity of participating in sport.

“Running is my stress ball, and it has also given me friendship, camaraderie, and purpose,” says Leigh. “We all take many of these aspects for granted, and in recent years, I have certainly come to appreciate this.”

In 2010 he tore the cartilage in his left knee, requiring two surgeries and two years of rebuilding, which he describes as “frustrating and difficult.”

Last year he tore the cartilage in the other knee and needed more surgery – which was when he set himself the marathon challenge.

“My rehab started well until shortly after Christmas, when I simply turned awkwardly at home and tore the cartilage again, requiring another visit to the operating theatre.”

Leigh has only just been able to start running again, and plans to build up to longer distances as he begins marathon training in May.

“Through my own injuries I have experienced the impact that disability can have, not just physically but mentally – and that’s why I want to raise money for Get Kids Going!, which not only helps with sports grants and purchasing specialist equipment, but also provides wheelchairs for children to use every day.”

You can make a donation at https:/uk.virginmoneygiving.com/LeighChurch