A local music teacher is running the Simplyhealth Great Stirling Run next month to raise money for Parkinson's UK, after being inspired by the members of her choir who suffer with the disease.
Emma Liston, 25, formed the Parkinson's choir last year alongside her former Alva Academy colleague's David and Jill, after David's father was diagnosed with the disease and encouraged them to arrange a musical activity for local people suffering with Parkinson's.
The choir currently has 15-20 dedicated Parkinson's sufferers, and Emma will run her very first half marathon on Sunday 28th April with the members at the forefront of her mind.
The weekly choir takes place in their classroom at the Alva Academy and has many benefits for its members.
Emma said: “The most obvious benefit is watching their confidence grow as well as the social aspect of being with friends who understand how it feels to live with Parkinson's.
“We also deliver specific physical and vocal warm ups to lessen some of the symptoms, such as mumbled speech and ‘constant frown syndrome'.
“Singing in the choir also keeps the brain active which is great for everyone as they have to remember lyrics, cues, and read music.
“As someone who was training as a classical vocalist in college and university, to becoming a secondary school music teacher, I have had endless experience with singing and choirs, but this one is definitely special and the members never fail to make me smile at the end of a working Monday.”
Emma will join thousands of people in Stirling next month for a great day of running which includes a marathon, half marathon, Family Run and brand new Maukit Run for children.
The challenging closed road running events take in the local countryside and imposing castles, showcasing the very best of Stirling.
Emma continued: “I live in Stirling and watched two friends run the full marathon for the first time last year, and I signed up when I got home.
“Hearing the stories and achievements of all the runners as they reached the finish line really tugged a string in my heart and I knew straight away I wanted to run for Parkinson's UK as it meant so much to me already.
“The choir have insisted on sponsoring me and can't wait to hear me sing all about it when I return the following day.
“The members have shown such amazing commitment every week and the bravery to try a new hobby. I'll be thinking of that when my legs get weak, and I imagine it'll keep me going with a smile on my face.”
“The training is going well! I'm getting a little help from someone I went to college with who is an aspiring personal trainer and online coach so he is definitely putting me through my paces to get ready for this!”
Click here to enter the Simplyhealth Great Stirling Run events