Sporting Heroes Celebrate Children's Hospice Week by Launching David Lloyd Leisure and Together for Short Lives Partnership

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Sporting heroes Olympic and Paralympic medallists Zac Purchase MBE, Steve Backley OBE and Sophie Christiansen OBE took on the ultimate superhero challenge on Friday 3 May when they launched the charity of the year partnership between David Lloyd Leisure and Together for Short Lives, the leading charity for UK children's hospices.

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Sporting heroes Olympic and Paralympic medallists Zac Purchase MBE, Steve Backley OBE and Sophie Christiansen OBE took on the ultimate superhero challenge on Friday 3 May when they launched the charity of the year partnership between David Lloyd Leisure and Together for Short Lives, the leading charity for UK children's hospices.

The sporting heroes, all David Lloyd Leisure members, were joined by school children and DL Kids. The children dressed as superheroes to celebrate Superhero Friday, a special day of hero inspired fundraising in aid of children's hospices. To celebrate the launch the sporting heroes were challenged by the children to compete in a game of tennis.

Zac Purchase is Olympic gold and silver medallist in rowing, Steve Backley, former world record holder and Olympic medallist in javelin, and Sophie Christiansen, five-time Paralympic gold medallist in dressage

The launch took place at David Lloyd Raynes Park, south-west London, on the final day of Children's Hospice Week (26 April - 3 May), the UK's only charity week for children with life-limiting conditions and the services that support them, organised by Together for Short Lives.

As part of the national partnership between David Lloyd Leisure and Together for Short Lives clubs across the country will be raising money for their local children’s hospice. The charity has been chosen by David Lloyd Leisure members and team members as its charity of the year for 2013 to 2014.

Sophie Christiansen said: “I am delighted to be helping David Lloyd Leisure support Together for Short Lives in an event that inspires children to get involved in sport, whilst raising awareness about children and young people with life-limiting conditions and disabilities, two things that are dear to my heart as a Paralympian.”

Scott Lloyd, chief executive of David Lloyd Leisure, said: “Children and families are at the heart of our offering and we are very proud to be supporting Together for Short Lives, a remarkable charity that was selected by our own members and team members. We look forward to raising funds throughout the year in our clubs across the country, which will directly benefit those children’s hospices undertaking incredible work in their local communities.”

Stephen Ballantyne, Director of Fundraising at Together for Short Lives said: “We are absolutely delighted that David Lloyd Leisure is supporting Together for Short Lives as its charity of the year. Their support will help us raise much-needed funds for thousands of seriously ill children and their families who rely on the vital care provided by local children’s hospices across the country."

To celebrate the launch of the partnership and the finale of Children's Hospice Week David Lloyd Leisure clubs across the country saw members and team members dressing up as their favourite superhero. DL Kids teams, who run the club activity programmes for children, also joined in the fun by hosting their very own superhero parties.

For more information about David Lloyd Leisure visit http://www.davidlloyd.co.uk. For more information about Together for Short Lives and Children's Hospice Week visit http://www.togetherforshortlives.org.uk.

Contacts

For further information about this press release and photos, contact:

David Lloyd Leisure press office press(at)davidlloyd(dot)co(dot)uk | 01707 289833/4
Rebecca Ellison | Communications Officer | rebecca.ellison(at)togetherforshortlives(dot)org(dot)uk | 0117 989 7830

Notes to editors

About David Lloyd Leisure Group
The David Lloyd Leisure Group operates 81 clubs in the UK and a further 10 clubs across Europe. It has over 440,000 members and employs 6,000 people. This includes an expert health and fitness team of over 1,800, while it contracts the services of more than 400 tennis professionals. Across all clubs, David Lloyd Leisure has over 150 swimming pools (of which half are indoor) and offers over 10,000 exercise classes per week. Every week 20,000 children learn to swim at David Lloyd Leisure and 14,000 learn to play tennis. Its racquets facilities are unparalleled with 700 racquets as well as 180 badminton courts and 140 squash courts. Additional facilities include health and beauty spas, club lounges with free Internet access, crèches, nurseries and specialist sports shops.

Together for Short Lives
Together for Short Lives is the leading charity for UK children’s palliative care. We support those who help, love and care for children and young people who are unlikely to reach adulthood. We work with children’s hospices and a range of other services across the country to ensure that every child, young person and their family has the best possible care and support whenever and wherever they need it. From the moment of diagnosis, for whatever life holds, we help to ensure families make the most of their precious time together.
Visit http://www.togetherforshortlives.org.uk for more information.

Children’s Hospice Week
Children’s Hospice Week (26 April-3 May 2013) is the UK’s only awareness and fundraising week for children with life-limiting conditions and the services, like children’s hospices that support them. Children’s hospices up and down the country will be joining together to celebrate the week.

With the theme of heroes Children’s Hospice Week calls on the public to ‘be a hero’ and support children not expected to reach adulthood and their families.

Children’s Hospice Week is co-ordinated nationally by Together for Short Lives. For more information on events and activities taking place during the week visit http://www.childrenshospiceweek.org.uk

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