Dunmow gym instructors ski the extra mile for six-year-old Gabriel

PUBLISHED: 08:35 16 May 2019

The team at Unique Health and Fitness who took part in the marathon: Beeton Matt, Ollie Pemberton, Rich Symonds and Aida Pemberton. Picture: CONTRIBUTED

The team at Unique Health and Fitness who took part in the marathon: Beeton Matt, Ollie Pemberton, Rich Symonds and Aida Pemberton. Picture: CONTRIBUTED

Archant

A group of Dunmow fitness instructors have raised almost £1,500 for a primary school pupil whose father died in an M11 collision last year, by completing an indoor skiing marathon.

Gabriel Squires. Picture: CONTRIBUTEDGabriel Squires. Picture: CONTRIBUTED

The four gym fanatics, who work at Unique Health and Fitness, in Chelmsford Road, completed a total of 42,195 metres on a Ski Erg machine, the equivalent of 26 miles, in less than three hours.

Those taking part were brothers and former Helena Romanes students Aiden Pemberton, 28, Ollie Pemberton, 26 as well as Matt Beeton, 22, and Rich Symonds, 28.

The money will be used to help six-year-old Gabriel Squires, from Bishop's Stortford, who has sensory difficulties and ADHD. Gabriel's father, Adam Squires, died last April, aged 42, after his motorbike collided with a car.

Classroom equipment which will help Gabriel focus on his learning, such as a standing desk and a sensory den, can now be purchased, Gabriel's mum, Rachael Squires, told the Broadcast.

Rachael, Gabriel and Adam Squires. Picture: CONTRIBUTEDRachael, Gabriel and Adam Squires. Picture: CONTRIBUTED

Rachael, 33, who is a member of Unique Health and Fitness, said the amount raised by the marathon was "unbelievable".

She said: "They absolutely smashed the marathon. It's pretty special to have a gym which will raise money for a member's child. I worry from the moment I wake up to the moment I go to sleep about Gabe, about what sort of day he is going to have so to know there are things at school for him...it means everything.

"Knowing he may actually be able to enjoy being there and feel really happy, safe and secure as opposed to anxious, as standard school environments are not necessarily right for him. The school are always so on the ball and they have provided specialist things for him to sit on but this means we can get really serious equipment and the expensive well made stuff. Now the focus can be on his learning."

Rachel also intends to give a proportion of the funds to the special education needs department at her son's school.

Speaking about the challenge, Ollie who co-owns the gym with Aiden, said: "Rachel said she wanted to raise money and asked if there was anything the gym could do. It was my silly idea. I thought 'what could be one of the hardest thing we could do in the gym?'"

Ollie added: "We feel a real sense of achievement and the whole evening created a really good atmosphere. All of us have met Gabe and Rachel's husband passed away last year... we saw her go through that and it's just nice to give something back."

The group has so far raised £1,461 with more expected. To donate go to: www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/teamunique.

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