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Lynn swaps bowls shoes for hiking boots for charity trek

A top crown green bowler who lost her partner to Motor Neurone Disease is swapping her bowls shoes for her hiking boots as she gets set for a circa 300-mile walking challenge to raise funds for research.

Lynn Pritchatt, from Cannock, Staffordshire, organised a Bowlathon in 2017 which raised £30,000 and completed the National Three Peaks Challenge in 2018, but her latest walkathon challenge will be the toughest yet.

The idea for the challenge evolved from former rugby league international Kevin Sinfield’s 101-mile run challenge in support of his best friend Rob Burrow who had been diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease (MND).

A core group of five people have committed to participate in the full two-week journey in September, with the funds raised going towards research into the neurological degenerative dissease and The Rob Burrow MND Centre in Leeds.

Lynn, 51, lost her partner Mel Evans MBE to MND in July 2017 and set-up The Mel Evans MBE Foundation to help raise vitally needed funds.

Bowls was Lynn and Mel’s passion, both playing together at the highest level for years, leading to Lynn incorporating the sport into her fundraising.

Lynn is undoubtedly one of the top female crown green bowlers to have ever played the game. She has a glittering bowls CV winning over 100 tournaments in a career that has spanned 35 years. Lynn is the only player to win the prestigious ladies’ Waterloo a record six times and has won all the top ladies’ events, some several times over.

Sadly, Lynn no longer competes in a sport she first played at the tender age of six but devotes her time to organising three large national crown green bowling tournaments each year in honour of her dad George and Mel.

The starting point for the challenge will be Stoke Prior in Bromsgrove, the most southerly crown green bowling club in England, and will take the group all the way to Fleetwood, stopping at numerous bowling clubs along the way.

Lynn said: “I have been following Rob Burrow’s story and the challenges Kevin Sinfield has done and was inspired.

“The idea for the walkathon came into my head in terms of a challenge which could enable a lot of people to participate. The two-week duration will take in 14 British crown green bowling association counties.

“We will walk for the day, starting at 8 am, and finish when we get to the destination for that section.

“We will then be visiting a bowling club in that area which will host a range of activities.

“Then we will sleep the night and get up the next morning for the next section.”

The group are looking to secure £3,000 in corporate sponsorship to offset the costs of hiring two motorhomes which will house food, drink, medical supplies, kit bags and overnight bags and will be the home of operations for the duration of the challenge.

An undergraduate student from The University of Wolverhampton will offer support to the group by providing nutritional advice, massages and helping with any minor injuries.

For more information and to make a donation, visit www.giveasyoulive.com/charity/themelevansmbefoundation or email walkathonformnd@outlook.com

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