A STUDENT is running and walking the length of the Grand Canyon to raise cash for her beloved Redditch Basketball Club which is feeling the impact of Covid-19.
Ellie Pierpoint got on her running shoes at the start of January and has already covered over 40 miles out of the mesmerizing 277.
The 20-year-old, who occasionally plays for the senior team, is desperate to give back to the club which has given so much to her.
“I’ve been there since I was six-years-old and it has bought me a lot of joy over the years,” said the University of Worcester student who lives in Redditch.
“There’s a real family-feel to the club as it’s run by volunteers.
“I want to ensure that it will function after the pandemic. Not just for me, as I don’t play much at the moment because I’m at university, but for the young people in the town.”
Dave Bradshaw, who set up the club 26 years ago with two others, volunteers most of his spare time, including weekends, to oversee the running of the club.
Ellie said Dave has been the perfect mentor to her and everyone else who plays.
“He pushed me to start for the over 18s when I was only 12; if he thinks you have the ability he will encourage you,” she said.
“Dave is determined to keep the club running no matter what, which I admire.”
Three national lockdowns have meant that the club has had to close for long periods of time over the last 12 months.
No subs are being paid either, as members are unable to use the facilities at Arrow Vale Sports Centre where the club operates out of.
And if and when the club does open again, money will be needed for minibus hire, to buy kits and for general running costs.
When finding out about Ellie’s fundraiser, Dave said: “I’m very proud. I think it’s marvelous and it proves that young people are out there helping others during these testing times.
“We haven’t really opened the club since March and I don’t expect to get it going again before the middle of this year.”
Ellie is hoping to raise £1,000 for the club.
To donate and help her reach her target CLICK HERE.