Dancers get moving to help brave Felpham girl walk

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More than 150 dancers are set to help a Felpham girl walk.

The adults and children will be taking part in a Zumbathon this month in aid of three-year-old Beth Chiddle.

Their two hours on the go will involve a mixture of fast and slow-paced routines. Some up-to-date chart tunes will add a further variation.

The event has been organised by Clare McTernan. She was approached by Beth’s mother, Kerry Chiddle, to help to raise funds for a £30,000 operation.

This will overcome the disability caused by Beth’s cerebral palsy.

Clare said: “I’ve got a little boy who is about the same age as Beth and I thought it would be nice to help her. I’m hoping to raise at least £1,500-£2,000.

“I’m able to gather some people power for the Zumbathon through my work as the local franchisee for the Rosemary Conley Diet and Fitness Clubs into which we introduced Zumba back in 2010.

“The members love it and it’s a great way to get into shape. Tickets are selling well but we have a huge sports hall to fill and it would be great, with the party atmosphere Zumba creates, if we could fill the place.”

The Zumbathon will take place from 2.30pm-4.30pm on May 12 at the Arena Sports Centre of Westloats Lane. Registration is from 1.45pm.

Tickets are £10 each or £5 for ten to 16-year-olds. They are available from Clare on 01243 265474, or at classes held by her and her three employees.

Clare has arranged sponsors to cover the cost of the venue and a donation of the stage, sound and lighting to ensure all the proceeds go straight to Beth.

Her mother, Kerry, said the fund to pay for Beth’s life-changing operation had reached nearly £7,000.

“Everything is really positive. We should get to £10,000 soon. It has gone really well and we have a lot of events going on in the next two months, which is fantastic.”

They include a team of ten running in the Bognor Prom 10k on May 20 as well as a mini-Euro 2012 five-a-side football tournament of 16 teams at The Arena on June 2.

Beth goes back to hospital in Bristol on June 1 where it is hoped she will be given the go-ahead for the operation.

This cannot take place until she is four, which will be in September.

It will improve the quality of her movement by enabling her to use her muscles correctly instead of the stiffness she now suffers.

“She has trouble doing things,” said Kerry, 33, “but she’s a happy little girl.

“She has just started twice a week at a school in Billingshurst which specialises in children with cerebral palsy.”