The son and daughter of football legend Alan Shearer are to take on their first ever half marathon at the Simplyhealth Great North Run this weekend in aid of the Newcastle-based charity he set up.
Chloe and Will Shearer are to take on the world’s biggest half marathon on Sunday 10 September to support The Alan Shearer Foundation, which was set up in 2012 to directly support The Alan Shearer Centre at St Cuthbert’s Care in Newcastle.
The centre provides free sensory and specialist leisure activities for disabled children and adults.
It also offers free and subsidised leisure breaks which is something that Chloe, 24, and Will, 17, are keen to see continue.
The family’s involvement with The Alan Shearer Centre in Benwell began when Shearer donated funds from his 2006 Testimonial football match towards the completion of the activity centre, which was then named after him in 2011.
With their Mum and Dad both being patrons of St Cuthbert’s Care, Chloe and Will decided that they wanted to do something that was out of their comfort zone to raise funds for the cause, which is close to their hearts.
Both actively spend time in their native North East, with student Will playing for the Newcastle Falcons academy and Chloe now working in London.
Chloe, who works in a Sports Media Agency, said: “It’s the first time for both of us doing the Simplyhealth Great North Run. “We love a challenge and think it’s healthy to do something out of your comfort zone once in a while.
“Neither of us are ‘runners’ so to speak and never run long distance so we thought it’s about time we did.
“It’s a massive event in the North East and we see it every year and the thousands of people that take part and last year we decided that we would be part of it in 2017.
“Dad’s foundation is obviously very close to our hearts, we get to see the great facilities the Centre is able to provide and fundraising is very important because it relies on donations from events like this.
“We would like to do our part and contribute by doing something worth being sponsored for. We are managing to raise a lot of money thanks to the generosity of such lovely people.”
The Alan Shearer Foundation needs to raise around £250,000 every year to ensure that the free sensory leisure activities and respite breaks can continue.
Former Newcastle United striker Shearer has been a long supporter of the Simplyhealth Great North Run, being the event’s official starter in 1997.
Chloe and Will join 57,000 others for the world’s biggest half marathon, broadcast live on BBC One, which sees a 13.1 mile journey from Newcastle to South Shields, crossing the iconic Tyne Bridge.
Chloe added: “As well as this it has been something we have wanted to do for a while and eventually we had to stop making excuses and just do it, so here we are!
“The only advice that Dad has given us is ‘You had better complete it!” which is advice in his own sort of way! We know he is very proud of the both of us for taking on the challenge.
“The fact Dad has started the event before and that we are running for the Foundation which is so important to us as a family means a lot to us personally.
“It’s an amazing charity and we’re so happy we can do something to contribute towards it.
“Training has not been easy for us but what we have realised is the more you keep at it, the better and more enjoyable running has become.
“Will is a lot fitter than me but with a bit of sibling rivalry we have both managed to conquer some long distance runs!
Support Chloe and Will’s fundraising here:
To find out more about the Simplyhealth Great North Run, visit: Greatrun.org/North