Ever since her debut entry in 2019, where she took home the winner’s trophy, 9-year-old Penny Turner has been hooked on AJ Bell’s Junior Great North Run Wheelchair Race.
She has competed every year since and never failed to place first. Penny hopes to hold onto her phenomenal record and push it one further at this year’s Super Saturday event on 9 September 2023.
Penny was born with Spina Bifida, a condition which affected the development of her spine. As a result, she has had to undergo 15 operations and now uses a wheelchair part-time. Her first wheel-chair was funded by the Evening Chronicles Sunshine Fund.
The Evening Chronicles Sunshine Fund is a charity based in the North East which provides specialist equipment to children living with disabilities and additional needs. When Penny was three, she received a wheelchair from the charity – something she could not get from the NHS, due to her age at the time. A few years later, the charity also funded a specially-designed bike, which allows her to join in on family trips and experiences safely and comfortably.
Thanks to the equipment offered by the charity, Penny is able to embrace a greater degree of independence and enjoy a wider range of opportunities. She and her family are incredibly grateful for the remarkable support offered by the charity and work hard to ensure that the charity can continue to help other children who need it most.
Penny has raised money for the Sunshine Fund each year that she has taken part in the event, and will do so again in the build-up to the AJ Bell Great North Run 2023 weekend.
The AJ Bell Junior & Mini Great North Run is the UK’s biggest and best kids running event. Taking place on 9 September on the Newcastle Gateshead Quayside, with plenty of encouragement and high fives from the crowds, it’s an action-packed day with an atmosphere like no other.
For more information visit www.greatrun.org/events/junior-mini-great-north-run