Pupils raise thousands for little Abbey

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A 24-hour fitness marathon saw more than 800 school pupils sweat it out to raise money for a seriously ill tot.

Parents and teachers even got involved in Heanor Gate Science College‘s ‘Ozboxathon’ on Friday - performing high octane ‘boxercise’ routines to music in the school’s sports hall in 
relay of around 60 people at a time.

And 75 brave teens also carried on throughout the night to make sure the chain went unbroken right the way through from 9.30am on Friday to 9.30am the following morning.

The event raised more than £2,000 for the paediatric ward at Queen’s Medical centre, Nottingham, where 26-month-old Abbey Fenton is being treated for a rare form of brain tumour.

Her mum Julie Stayner of Duke’s Place, Cotmanhay, was thrilled at the level of participation.

She said: “All the pupils have been amazing, they have gone above and beyond the call of duty.”

Julie said the funds will help to buy the Neuroscience Surgery and Oncology ward a specialised bathtub for disabled children as well as pictures for the walls and windows to brighten the place up.

“We were in hospital for three months,” Julie said. “There was nothing for the kids to do, and there was nothing on the walls. The staff and doctors have been fantastic, but they need a bit more funding to get the ward up to scratch.”

Nearly all of the pupils at Heanor Gate took part in the exercise routines, based on the Ozbox fitness classes, which run around the county and were founded by former Derbyshire Policeman Steve Osbaldeston.

Hundreds of pupils from from Heanor Gate’s feeder schools also took part including children from Howitt Primary School and Mundy Junior School.

Heanor Gate’s sports co-ordinator and organiser of the event Mark Ozenbrook, said: “It was amazing - I spoke to the head teachers of all the feeder schools and they would like to see Ozbox come back.”

Ozbox founder Steve Osbaldeston said: “All the organisation has been worth it if it gets Abbey the stuff she needs.”