Keep on running! War hero gives race tips to kids in Leeds

Allanah Royson-Regan, Callum Storey, Phil Packer, Ellie Ramskill and Charleigh Sutcliffe.
Allanah Royson-Regan, Callum Storey, Phil Packer, Ellie Ramskill and Charleigh Sutcliffe.
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Young runners have been getting tips from an Iraq war veteran who beat the odds to become a charity champion.

Former army major Phil Packer MBE spent yesterday morning at Corpus Christi Catholic College in Leeds meeting young people living with type 1 diabetes.

The youngsters have all signed up to the Arena Group Leeds Mini and Junior Charity Run around Leeds Dock on July 9.

In 2008, Phil suffered catastrophic injuries to his heart and spinal chord while serving in Iraq.

After defying the odds to walk again, he embarked on a series of mammoth challenges to raise money for wounded veterans.

He was also handed the BBC Sports Personality of the Year Helen Rollason Award.

His charitable exploits garnered national recognition and he was subsequently named Pride of Britain Fundraiser of the Year.

In 2012 he walked 2,012 miles through the UK and Northern Ireland, stopping to meet children facing trauma and disability.

Phil was in Leeds to support young participants in the event is organised by Jane Tomlinson’s Run For All.

It precedes the flagship run on July 10. This year the official partner charity will be JDRF, which funds research into type 1 diabetes.

As he met young sufferers of type 1 diabetes, Phil highlighted the importance of such events in breaking down stigma around the illness.

“These inclusive events in Leeds for young people are great fun, promote healthy living and are a super way to raise funds to support JDRF and research into type 1 diabetes, which affects nearly 30,000 young people in the UK,” he said.

The heroic campaigner urged more Leeds children to get behind the worthwhile cause.

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