In an incredible outpouring of support for a seriously ill little Ilkeston girl, more than 1,000 students are to take part in a mammoth, 24-hour boxing event.
After pupils at Heanor Gate Science College were told about two-year-old Abbey Fenton, who has a brain tumour, they wanted to do whatever they could to help.
The ‘OzBoxathon’ event starts on Friday morning at the school and runs right through to the following morning.
Abbey’s mum Julie Stayner has started the Saving Abbey Fund to raise cash for the paediatric ward at Queen’s Medical Centre, Nottingham, where the brave toddler is currently undergoing chemotherapy.
She said: “It’s amazing what they are doing.
“It’s great to think that there are so many really kind people out there.
“There’s not a lot there for the kids on the ward, it isn’t fair really.”
“It’d be nice to make things more comfortable for the children.”
The marathon event will also see officers from Derbyshire police – which created the OzBox fitness sessions – taking part, and there are satellite sessions at nearby primary schools.
Pupils aged eight and over will be able to take part throughout the day with trained instructors running the sessions including off duty police officers and volunteers.
After school closing time, the event will be open to staff, parents and relatives at different times through the evening. The night session will be open to trained sports leaders only.
Headteacher Rob Howard said: “We always aim to be involved in our local community wherever there is a need.
“We feel honoured to be able to help with such a cause as this.
“The Ozboxathon will be a unique and fun way for our whole community to support Abbey and children with similar conditions.”
OzBox is a non-contact boxing-based fitness scheme run by the police and funding by Derbyshire County Council and the Big Lottery Fund.
OzBox founder Steve Osbaldeston added: “When the school asked us to get involved in raising money for such a worthy cause we jumped at the chance.
“OzBox is about helping people. The pupils will be taking part in something fun and challenging that is also helping to raise vital funds for a very sick little girl.”
The event will officially started by the High Sheriff of Derbyshire at 9.20am. Look for pictures in next week’s Advertiser.