Clare Griffin of the West Wight Sports Centre.
THE manager of West Wight Sports Centre is putting her best feet forward — to raise funds to help save it from closure.
To celebrate her 50th birthday and raise funds for the cash-strapped centre, Clare Griffin is undertaking an endurance challenge that would daunt most people half her age.
She is taking part in The Needles XC Marathon on June 8, the Cross-Solent Swim on July 6 and the West Wight Triathlon on September 28.
Her triple fundraising effort comes as the Isle of Wight Council moves toward removing funding completely for the centre, which is recognised as the hub of the West Wight community.
Clare is now in training up to six days each week — trying to run three times a week, swim at least once a week and cycle or do at least one fitness class as well.
"It’s challenging fitting it all in around managing the centre and family life too. My biggest hurdles are the half marathon, because it’s 13 very hilly miles, and the cold sea.
"I recently ran the West Wight Three Hills eight-mile race, which is part of the half marathon route, and that was very hard.
"Although I am a reasonable ex-competitive swimmer I don’t usually do the sea — it’s got seaweed, rocks and is cold too!"
The first £250 of sponsorship will go to the centre and money over and above that split between it, the Huntington’s Disease Association and Uzima in Our Hands, the charity which supports an orphanage in Kenya.
She chose to support the Huntington’s association because a friend’s husband inherited the degenerative condition and the Uzima charity because its three trustees are West Wight people.
Clare’s fundraising page is www.everyclick.com/clare and she has sponsor forms at West Wight Sports Centre, Yarmouth Post Office, Freshwater Pet Store, Briddlesford Lodge Farm Shop and Cut ’n’ Run hair salon.