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On your marks… sports massage students to offer treatments at Great North Run

A group of Sunderland College staff and students will be offering much-needed sports massage relief to Great North Run participants who are raising cash for a vital North East children’s charity.

A group of Sunderland College staff and students will be offering much-needed sports massage relief to Great North Run participants who are raising cash for a vital North East children’s charity.

Four students and their sports massage lecturer will be on hand to ensure runners fundraising for local charity The Children’s Foundation receive treatment after completing the half marathon on Sunday.

Alex Gudgeon and Sophie Maw, who completed the Level 3 Diploma in Sports Massage in May, and Karly Crabtree and Georgia Shaw, who are in the second year of their Level 3 Extended Diploma in Sport and Exercise Sciences, have volunteered their time at the event.

Sophie, aged 22, has set up her own mobile sports massage business, Akeso Massage, since she finished her course and is looking forward to gaining more experience at the Great North Run.

The Sunderland-based therapist said: “It’s very beneficial for me to volunteer my time at the event as it will give me experience of massaging in a fast-paced environment while giving something back to a great local charity. People who are running and fundraising for this charity definitely deserve a massage at the end!

“The Children’s Foundation has excellent values and it helps disadvantaged and vulnerable children around the North East to participate in fun activities, which they would not be able to do without the aid of this charity.”

The students will be joined by Paul Brown, Sunderland College’s sports massage lecturer, who will be supervising and treating runners at the end of the 13.1 mile course which starts in Newcastle and ends in South Shields.

The Children’s Foundation is expecting around 90 runners to take part in the 35th Great North Run in aid of the charity, which is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year.

Paul said: “I have run three half marathons in the past so I understand how beneficial it is for people taking part in long distance runs to receive sports massage treatment. The Great North Run is a renowned event but it is a difficult course and by the end, the runners will have built up a lot of lactic acid and carbon dioxide in their muscles. We will be giving free massages to runners to help flush the muscles and get rid of waste, and to encourage the return of oxygen to the muscles in order to repair them.

“The Children’s Foundation is a brilliant charity which helps so many young people in the region and we are very happy to be supporting them in this way. The people we will be treating are taking part in the run for such a good cause and raising lots of money – this is the least we can do to thank and congratulate them.”

Jonathan Clegg, Community and Events Fundraiser for The Children’s Foundation, said: “We are so grateful to the staff and students from Sunderland College for volunteering their time and offering our runners sports massages.  It is just what they need after running 13.1 miles in the Great North Run. We are hoping to raise £25,000 through their sponsorship money to coincide with our 25th year anniversary. This money will help improve the health and wellbeing of children and young people in the North East.”

Sunderland College launched the Level 3 Diploma in Sports Massage last September, which is an adult course aimed at people who want to set up their own business or those who are keen to offer therapy in a gym or sports facility.

Paul added: “It is great to see some of the first graduates from the Level 3 Diploma have the opportunity to volunteer at the Great North Run and they have been very keen to get involved. We decided to launch this course after I returned from a sabbatical in Australia where I developed my sports massage therapy skills. The take-up for the course has been fantastic and we are looking forward to growing our provision in sports massage therapy over the next few years.”

It’s not too late to enrol on a course at Sunderland College. For more information about courses, ring 0191 5116000 or email info@sunderlandcollege.ac.uk

You can support The Children’s Foundation’s runners here, or if you would like to put your name down to run in 2016 contact jasmin.gibson@nuth.nhs.uk



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