Solihull schoolgirl takes on 24-hour squash marathon - The Solihull Observer

Solihull schoolgirl takes on 24-hour squash marathon

Solihull Editorial 20th Jun, 2024   0

A SOLIHULL schoolgirl is ready to take part in a 24-hour squash marathon in honour of her paralysed uncle.

Pearl Barker will start the challenge on Friday (June 21) at 5pm at Knowle and Dorridge Racquets Club where she is a member.

The Arden Academy School pupil aims to play several matches and stay awake for the full 24 hours.

The 12-year-old will be joined by family, friends and club members who will do hourly player changes with the goal of raising £1,000 for the charity Spinal Research, which funds medical research into treatments for paralysis caused by a spinal cord injury.

Proud mum Nina said: “My brother Arron broke his neck playing rugby 15 years ago and is paralysed from the neck down. But he is such a positive and inspirational person and Pearl absolutely adores him.

“She organised a couple of book sales in primary school for Spinal Research and when she started playing squash suddenly came up with this idea which the club has really got behind.

“It’s just so brilliant that she wants to do these things for Arron. She gets a lot of satisfaction from it and I’m really proud of her.”

Pearl’s uncle, Arron Williams, was just 25 when he suffered his life-changing injury in the last few minutes of a rugby match for Basildon.

After major surgery to stabilise his neck and spine and nine months of rehabilitation at Stoke Mandeville, Arron began adjusting to his new life in a wheelchair.

Arron said: “Pearl has only ever known me in a chair but still wants to raise money for a possible ‘cure’ one day. She does all this fundraising off her own bat and is just a very awesome, cool girl and I couldn’t be more proud.”

Spinal Research says every two hours someone in the UK is paralysed after a spinal cord injury. It can happen to anyone at any time with around 105,000 living daily with the devastating consequences.

The charity’s chief executive, Louisa McGinn, said: “What a star Pearl is.

“We’re in touching distance of function restoring treatments for people paralysed after a spinal cord injury and we really appreciate every single donation that brings our vision of curing paralysis a step closer.”

For more or to donate click here.

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