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Therapist from Bourne joins bike ride for footballer’s fund

Sarah Bridgewater who has just completed 12 days working away with footballers who were doing a cycle ride to raise money for The Royal British Legion and Leukaemia and Lymphoma Research with her colleague  Naomi Loveless

Sarah Bridgewater who has just completed 12 days working away with footballers who were doing a cycle ride to raise money for The Royal British Legion and Leukaemia and Lymphoma Research with her colleague Naomi Loveless

A WOMAN who works as a therapist in Bourne spent nearly two weeks helping on a cycle ride to raise money for a charity supporting a top footballer.

Sarah Bridgewater, 24, was asked to worked as a massage therapist during the Pedal for Petrov cycle ride, which took in seven top flight football stadiums in England and Scotland.

The cyclists rode from Celtic Park in Glasgow to Aston Villa’s ground, Villa Park, in Birmingham.

Along the way they stopped at the homes of Newcastle United, Manchester United, Manchester City, Liverpool and Everton.

The aim of the ride was to raise £250,000 for Leukeamia and Lymphoma Research and to support Aston Villa captain Stiliyan Petrov, who is currently in remission after battling with acute leukaemia.

Sarah, a therapist at Renu in West Street, Bourne, has been involved in charity cycle rides since she qualified as a sports massage therapist in 2008 and was approached to help with event treatment.

This included warming up the muscles, stretching them at each stop, being on hand to support the cyclists during their ride if they suddenly had a problem, and flush out their muscles at the end of the day to prepare them for the next stage.

It also involved making sure they had enough fluids and getting food for the ride.

During the ride Sarah, of Marigold Avenue, Bourne, and fellow sports therapist Naomi Loveless travelled behind the cyclists, stopping at each stop during the day and working with them on the road as needed.

The ride was organised by Villa club masseurs Alex Butler and Andy Smith, who cycled alongside former England footballer Geoff Thomas.

Geoff also suffered from leukaemia after retiring from football but has been clear for eight years and works with the charity.

Over five days the group cycled up to 80 miles a day.

Top Premier League footballers and managers met them at each stop to sign autographs and offer some moral support.

At Everton’s stadium, Goodison Park, in Liverpool, a team from the charity’s research laboratories also met the team to offer their best wishes.

During one of these stops, Sarah was lucky enough to have a chat with Manchester United footballer Ryan Giggs.

The event finished with a charity auction hosted by Aston Villa.

 

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