Get your skates on to support pier to pier event to raise money for Motor Neurone Disease

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A Sunderland roller blade team are going to be skating from South Shields pier on the River Tyne to Roker Pier on the River Wear to raise vital funds for research into motor neurone disease (MND).

Sunderland Roller Derby team normally competes against other roller derby teams across the North East, but on Sunday August 25 team members will be roller blading the 7 mile distance to raise money for the Motor Neurone Disease Association.

David Garrick.

Team captain David Garrick, 37, said: “MND has been in the news a lot recently, particularly with the sad death of rugby player Rob Burrow.

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“It’s a disease which is incurable and so money raised for the Association will be used to help sufferers and their families as well as for vital research into the disease and to hopefully one day find a cure.”

Sunderland Roller Derby.

All members of the club will be taking part in the event, but David is calling on anyone who is interested in taking part to come along with their blades or any other form of wheels.

He said: “The event is open to anyone who wants to get involved to come along on their blades, roller skates, skateboard or scooter. Each person taking part is asked to donate £5 towards the cause.”

The team has also set up a GoFundMe page and have already exceeded the initial target of £500.

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David Garrick.

David added: “We’ve already raised £580 and so we are just going to keep the target flexible.”

The event will start at 9.30am with participants asked to meet at South Shields Pier at 9am.

Any money raised will be split 50/50 between the MND Association and keeping the club going for local people to enjoy.

David said: “Like many sports teams, Sunderland Roller Derby was hit hard by the pandemic.

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“The enforced hiatus took a toll on our team, both in terms of membership and finances.

“Now, as we navigate the ongoing cost of living crisis, we're working hard to rebuild our team and return to the track stronger than ever.”

As well as raising vital funds, the team is also keen to recruit new players. Anyone interested in finding out more about the sport or becoming a player should check out the team’s Facebook page or email [email protected]

The team trains at Castle View Enterprise Academy in Hylton Castle.

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