Trekking for Colin

Staff at Queens Park Leisure Centre prepare for their marathon bike ride for charity. Left to right: Neil Marsh, Darren Woods, and Dave Pumford.
Staff at Queens Park Leisure Centre prepare for their marathon bike ride for charity. Left to right: Neil Marsh, Darren Woods, and Dave Pumford.
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GOLDEN-hearted colleagues of a popular gym instructor who is battling cancer are limbering up for a gruelling double fund-raising challenge in his honour.

Parr Fitness Centre leisure assistant Colin Wilkinson, 45, a married father-of-one, was diagnosed with lymphoma in December 2009 and is currently undergoing chemotherapy.

He is also set for a bone marrow transplant this month - a procedure doctors hope will be the final treatment he needs to make a full recovery.

But his colleagues at Parr Fitness Centre and Queens Park Health and Fitness Centre are soon set to join forces to take on a fund-raising 100-mile exercise bike challenge and a 96-mile wilderness trek in his honour.

Colin’s long-time friend Mike Dalton, of Parr Fitness Centre, said: “We’ve organised a fund-raising 12-hour exercise bike cycling challenge for March 18. A team of fund-raisers in fancy dress will take on the relay challenge in the foyer at Queens Park Fitness Centre and hope to top the 100-mile mark.

“Then, starting on April 17, I will be joined by a team of 14 or 15 fund-raisers on the West Highland Way trek from Glasgow to Fort William in the Scottish Highlands. We’ll be carrying all our own gear and wilderness camping along the way. It should take us about six days to complete.”

Initially, fund-raisers planned to simply raise money to give Colin and his family a financial lift in their hour of need.

But, due to the flood of interest in their fund-raising challenges, they now aim to split the proceeds between Colin’s family and the Lymphoma Research Trust.

In tribute to Colin, Mike added: “In work, Colin is the ultimate professional, whose reputation for excellence is recognised and respected by the wider leisure and recreation community. But, in person, Colin is a warm, honest, friendly and completely trustworthy individual. I have honestly never heard anyone utter a bad word about him, and this is reflected in the depth of feeling his illness has provoked.

“Throughout his illness Colin has remained positive and cheerful and doesn’t dwell on his condition. He always finds time to ask after friends, colleagues and their families. I know that I, and many others, feel honoured that he considers us his friend.”

Anyone interested in making a donation to either challenge can contact Mike Dalton on 01744 677244.