Olympian launches Pendleside Hospice appeal

Olympian Sophie (right) donating her signed Team GB shirt to Pendleside Hospice fund raiser, Vikki Bazeak.

Olympian Sophie (right) donating her signed Team GB shirt to Pendleside Hospice fund raiser, Vikki Bazeak.

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Burnley-born Olympic bronze medallist, Sophie Hitchon, has helped launch Inside Spa’s Christmas fundraising appeal for Pendleside Hospice.

During the Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Sophie, 25, became first ever female to win a medal in the hammer throw for Great Britain, and the country’s first of either gender since Paris 1924.

Olympian Sophie Hitchon (second from left) places the first fund-raising star to launch Inside Spa's charity Christmas appeal for Pendleside Hospice with (left to right) therapist Julie Hanson; Inside Spa manager, Beverley Hinningan; and Hospice fund raiser, Vikki Bazeak.

Olympian Sophie Hitchon (second from left) places the first fund-raising star to launch Inside Spa's charity Christmas appeal for Pendleside Hospice with (left to right) therapist Julie Hanson; Inside Spa manager, Beverley Hinningan; and Hospice fund raiser, Vikki Bazeak.

Meeting delighted customers and therapists at Inside Spa on November 26th, Sophie also became the first person to place a charity star on the spa’s Christmas tree as part of its fund raising campaign for Pendleside Hospice.

“The hospice is close to my heart,” said Sophie. “When Inside Spa asked if I would help support their fund-raising efforts for Pendleside Hospice, I was only to pleased to say yes. I am deeply committed to encouraging people of all generations to be active and lead healthy lifestyles.”

Sophie was back in Burnley before jetting off for training in San Francisco in preparation for next year’s world championships in London, and popped into Pendle Leisure Trust’s new £500,000 spa facility, which is encouraging clients to make a donation and place their own gold star on the Christmas tree.

“I was always active as a child and Wavelengths was a favourite place for me,” said Sophie. “After Rio, it was really hectic but I was determined to come back to Lancashire and visit as many schools and places as I could to encourage people into taking part in sport. I only wish I could spend time at the new spa, it looks amazing.”

Sophie Hitchon launching the Christmas appeal with her Pendleside Hospice gold star.

Sophie Hitchon launching the Christmas appeal with her Pendleside Hospice gold star.

Fundraisers will also be entered into a prize draw with the winner enjoying a complimentary Inside Spa Wellness Experience, with Sophie also generously donating a signed Team GB Olympic shirt as a further raffle prize.

Inside Spa manager, Beverley Hinningan, said: “Sophie is such a sporting icon; that she is our home-grown hero makes her visit extra special.”

Alison Goode, Pendle Leisure Trust chief executive, said: “The trust is committed to helping the people of Pendle and beyond lead healthier, fitter lifestyles. It is so encouraging to see how one of our own has achieved such incredible success, achieving Olympic glory. We really appreciate that Sophie made time to visit Inside Spa and help launch our appeal.”

Looking forward to seeing plenty of stars on the tree, Beverley Hinningan added: “We are hoping for a bumper Christmas appeal to help Pendleside Hospice.”