Leyland pupils' fitness boost thanks to teaching assistant's moonlight marathon walk training

Leyland Woodlea Junior School TA Nicola Bell is taking part in the MoonWalk London 2019 to raise money for breast cancer research (Images: JPIMedia)
Leyland Woodlea Junior School TA Nicola Bell is taking part in the MoonWalk London 2019 to raise money for breast cancer research (Images: JPIMedia)
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A teaching assistant raising hundreds of pounds by walking a marathon is using her training to better the health and wellbeing of her students.

Nicola Bell is taking part in The MoonWalk London 2019, which will see her walk a full marathon - 26.2 miles - around Clapham Common all in aid of breast cancer research.

Leyland Woodlea Junior School TA Nicola Bell is taking part in the MoonWalk London 2019 to raise money for breast cancer research (Images: JPIMedia)

Leyland Woodlea Junior School TA Nicola Bell is taking part in the MoonWalk London 2019 to raise money for breast cancer research (Images: JPIMedia)

Nicola, from Chorley, has done 19 miles so far while training ahead of the big event on Saturday, May 11.

And she is using part of her training to improve the health and fitness of students at Leyland’s Woodlea Junior School, where she works as a teaching assistant.

52-year-old Nicola said: “Basically we do a ‘fitness mile’ in school to champion our children’s physical activity.

“So I do this with the kids in the dinner hour. It’s mainly for fitness but also to show the children about why persevering matters.

Nicola Bell

Nicola Bell

“I have been in school in agony due to training but it’s about keeping going.”

Nicola, who has been a TA at Woodlea for nearly five years, added: “I also want to make a difference really. That’s what’s kept me going especially when it’s been tough.

“You think ‘I can’t do this’ but when you get sponsors you keep going for them and for where the money is going.”

Nicola was also inspired to do the walk after she lost a colleague to cancer.

More than £160 has been raised on Nicola’s crowdfunding website from more than 15 individual donations.

Jillian Shorrocks, headteacher at Woodlea Junior School, said: “Nicola’s enthusiasm for this has been infectious and her passion for promoting healthy lifestyles runs parallel with that of the school where she works.

“The school has invested time and money in the promotion of healthy lifestyles; body and mind.

“Governors of the school are keen on promoting staff wellbeing and have offered yoga and more recently mindfulness and meditation to staff to support them in their ever demanding roles in school.

“Nicola, along with all of her colleagues are key in ensuring the children of Woodlea are active and healthy during their days in school.”

• You can sponsor Nicola ahead of her marathon walk at www.moonwalklondon2019.everydayhero.com/uk/nicola-56