Ten-year-old triathletes smash fundraising target for friend with rare form of Muscular Dystrophy

Wimbledon Guardian: The youngsters in action in Wimbledon Park The youngsters in action in Wimbledon Park

Two 10-year-old boys have smashed their fundraising target by running, swimming and cycling around Wimbledon for a friend who suffers from a rare form of Muscular Dystrophy.

Max McKinlay and Tom Abbott raised about £4,000 - leaving for dust their original target of £1,000 to help pal Matthew Newnham.

The sporty youngsters organised a charity triathlon which saw them start with a 200 metre swim at Wimbledon Leisure Centre before running 2.4 miles to Max’s home in Revelstoke Road, Wimbledon.

Then they took to two wheels for seven laps around Wimbledon Park, dodging the people camping for Wimbledon tennis championship tickets in the park.

The school friends attend Willington Independent Preparatory School in Worcester Road, Wimbledon, and teachers and classmates were there on the day to cheer them on.

Wimbledon Guardian:

Tom Abbott, left, with Matthew Newnham, centre and Max McKinlay, right. 

Matthew, also aged 10, has Limb-girdle Muscular Dystrophy, a genetic condition which affects the voluntary muscles, mainly those around the hips and shoulders, for which there is no cure.

Matthew’s mother Kathryn Newnham said: "I think it’s unbelievable, it is a significant amount of money to raise, and at such a young age.

"It is a really tough event for them to do, especially part of the run up Wimbledon Hill.

"Afterwards they had a quick drink and they were back out there raising money.

"They were amazing."

Matthew was there to cheer them on and sell home-made wristbands at a stall set up outside his friend’s house.

Max's mother, Becky McKinlay, said: "It was a really amazing day.

"We had a huge amount of support from the school community who came down to cheer them on their way.

"They completed it without any problems, they were just very tired.

"We re-set the total - the original target was £1,000."

Most of the money raised will go to the Muscular Dystrophy Campaign for research into the specific type of Muscular Dystrophy Matthew and his sister Sophie, six, have.

The rest will go to fund the work of the charity itself.

The event on Sunday, June 29, did not take the form of a conventional triathlon, which is the swim first then the cycling then the running last, because of logistics.

The boys completed it in two hours - the cycling lasted one hour while they ran and swam for half an hour each.

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