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'The journey Zara has had from the accident to where she is now is amazing:' Get involved with fundraiser

PUBLISHED: 06:30 08 February 2019 | UPDATED: 08:40 08 February 2019

Zara Dyer, preparing for the 24-hour step-a-thon, on the treadmills at the Waterlane Leisure Centre in Lowestoft. Pictures: Mark Boggis

Zara Dyer, preparing for the 24-hour step-a-thon, on the treadmills at the Waterlane Leisure Centre in Lowestoft. Pictures: Mark Boggis

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A 24-hour sporting challenge is to take place later this year inspired by one woman's "amazing" recovery.

Two charities have teamed up to organise the fundraising event in April – with the public being encouraged to step out and support the worthy causes.

Almost two-and-a-half years ago, Zara Dyer was fighting for her life after suffering serious brain injuries in a horrific car crash.

The 3 Million Steps charity is supporting brain injury recovery. Picture: 3 Million StepsThe 3 Million Steps charity is supporting brain injury recovery. Picture: 3 Million Steps

Now she is gearing up for a major challenge – as she prepares to walk from John O’Groats to Lands End with her partner Ian Brown in May.

The 3 Million Steps charity – which was recently established to support brain injury recovery and help others – has joined forces with Sentinel Leisure Trust, a charity that provides sports and leisure services in the Waveney area.

The link-up comes as a 24-hour step-a-thon is set to be held over the April 6/7 weekend as a “prelude” to an epic challenge later this year.

After the couple recently launched the 3 Million Steps charity, money raised from the walk will benefit charities that have helped Miss Dyer in her recovery.

And they have been given the opportunity to raise funds, and further awareness of their challenge, by joining forces with Sentinel Leisure for a 24-hour step-a-thon on treadmills at the Waterlane Leisure Centre.

With Miss Dyer using the Sentinel facilities during her rehabilitation, she approached the trust and the step-a-thon fundraiser was established.

Miss Dyer said: “This is the prelude to our main walk and we are hoping people will join in and raise the profile.

“Anyone aged over 12 can come along and take part – all are welcome – and you can walk, jog or run on a treadmill upstairs in the gym for 30 minutes.

“If families want to come together they can, and we can fit them in for specific times

“For me and my walking the John O’Groats to Lands End walk will be close to three million steps to complete.”

Claire Henwood, director of physical activity and health at Sentinel Leisure Trust, said: “We are so proud to be linking up with Zara.

“I have known Zara for a long time. She is a local girl, who is ambassador of our changing lives programme, and the journey Zara has had from the accident to where she is now is amazing.”

Matt Stebbings, physical activity and health manager at Sentinel, added: “The aim is to keep the treadmills going for 24-hours and tally up how many steps we have completed – the equivalent of Zara and Ian doing the 3 Million Steps walk.

“People can be sponsored to take part and the challenge is not to stop from noon on April 6 to noon on April 7.”

Registration for the fundraising event is now open, with the proceeds to be split 50-50 between the 3 Million Steps charity as well as the Sentinel Leisure Changing Lives and Making Memories programmees – which make “a real difference to people who are going through a very difficult time.”

■ You can register at Waterlane Leisure Centre from February 8, or visit 3millionsteps.org to request a sponsorship form.

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