Leeds schoolgirl Amber beats rugby ace to finish line

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It was a challenge with a difference, but six-year-old Amber Buckle finally got to race against her Rugby League star ‘with the poorly heart’.

Amber, who did all three of the Yorkshire Peaks last year when she was just five, challenged Bradford Bulls Super League star Adrian Purtell to a race to raise money for Yorkshire-based charity Heart Research UK.

Adrian, who recovered from a heart attack two years ago and is back on the pitch for the Bulls, is an ambassador for Heart Research UK, and agreed to the fun challenge with the Leeds schoolgirl and her friends.

The youngsters from Greenhill Primary School in Bramley, raced Adrian over 100 metres of the Leeds Metropolitan University athletics centre track, and cash they raised has helped push Amber’s fundraising total to £500 from her challenges.

Amber, of Wortley, who just pipped Adrian to the finishing line, said: “I loved racing Adrian, we can do more things together now to raise money for Heart Research UK. I really liked having all my friends with me having fun and raising money.”

Adrian said: “It’s really impressive that someone so young as Amber has managed to raise so much and I was more than happy to take part in this fun event.”

It was all sponsored to help raise funds for the charity’s work which includes its Helping Little Hearts appeal to provide an exercise prescription for young heart patients.

Amber’s mum, Kate Buckle, was delighted that the Rugby League star agreed to the challenge: “They were all so excited about doing this and the fact we have raised money too has made it even more worthwhile,” she said.

Amber, who is a Leeds Rhinos fan, finished each of the Yorkshire Three Peaks last autumn with parents Kate and Ben in less than four hours each, and has held events at her school to help boost her fund-raising total for Heart Research UK.

Heart Research UK is a visionary charity that funds ground-breaking medical research into the prevention, treatment and cure of heart disease.

Having funded six of the first eight successful UK heart transplants, Heart Research UK has been helping hearts by supporting clinical and surgical projects and young researchers on their first steps into research. In the last 10 years the charity has funded over £10.6m on research projects in hospitals and universities across the UK as well as £1.2m on community-based lifestyle projects that aim to prevent or reduce the risks of heart disease.

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