Monday, 6 January 2014

Lions on track to help keep Air Ambulance flying at night

Photo 1: Members of Tonbridge Lions Club pictured at the Air Ambulance base at Marden

Photo 2: Tonbridge Lions President Keith Bourne

Night-flying Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance is appealing for runners, swimmers and cyclists to sign up for this year’s Tonbridge Lions Triathlon and help save lives 24 hours a day.

Lions Clubs across the South East have pledged to raise £250,000 for the Marden-based charity over the next 10 years.

The funds will be a significant contribution towards the additional £1million-a-year needed to provide a 24-hour service which was launched last month (December 18th).

The triathlon is to be held on May 5th at Tonbridge School’s sports complex which was used by the Australian Olympic team as a training base for the London 2012 games.

Competitors can choose a sprint consisting of a 400-metre swim, 25km ride and 5km run or the standard route which is double the distance.

Triathlon chairman Tom Simmons said: “This is the second year the Tonbridge Lions Club has arranged for the Tonbridge Triathlon to be linked up with Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance.

“We once again welcome the opportunity to be able to offer the means for the general public to take part in the triathlon and also raise funds for this much-loved and vital charity.

“The Air Ambulance needs approximately £6m each year to maintain their service in the counties and provide 24- hour cover. The pilots, doctors and paramedics are extremely dedicated to their task and deserve all our support."

Tonbridge was the first Lions club launched in the UK in 1949 and has raised more than £275,000 for charity in the last 10 years. The triathlon alone has raised more than £125,000 over 24 years and organisers are aiming to raise a total of £13,000 from this year’s event.

There are 500 places available with an entry fee of £46 for the standard distance, £42 for teams of three and £39 for the sprint. To book a place go to www.tonbridgelions.co.uk or call 07549 949615.

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