TCCL fundraiserRegular readers of our blog may remember we posted a few weeks ago about Arlene McWalter, one of our long-standing instructors.  In what started as a quick chat about classes reopening, Arelene casually mentioned she was training for an ironman to celebrate her upcoming 50th birthday!

But this isn’t just any ironman; Arlene is raising funds for TCCL (you pronounce it tickle), the Tayside Children with Cancer and Leukaemia charity.

It goes without saying that charities such as TCCL are always deserving of additional support, but here at Live Active Leisure we have a very personal connection to this phenomenal cause.

Lots of our regular customers will know that Neil Johnston’s daughter, Hayley, has rung the bell celebrating an all-clear from the brain cancer tumour that was diagnosed in 2019.  Neil has worked with LAL for many years – and his wife, Katie, was with us for a number of those too – and as a family they have been hugely supported by TCCL.  

Hayley was diagnosed with a high-grade, neuroepithelial brain tumour just two days before her 7th birthday in September 2019. She had emergency surgery at Edinburgh Sick kids Hospital followed by seven weeks of Proton Therapy in Essen, Germany, and then 16 weeks of intense chemotherapy. TCCL provided Neil and Katie with grants to help Hayley throughout her journey and as a long-time friend of the family, Arlene wants to give a little something back.

Here’s what she said:

“I had already decided that I wanted to do something to raise money for one of the charities that had helped Hayley but with Covid-19 putting paid to any fundraisers last year my plans were scuppered.

“Now, a year down the line, I’ve decided to tie it in with my big birthday in June!  I’m doing the equivalent of an Ironman 70.3 across Perthshire to raise funds for this amazing charity who continue to do a great job in Tayside to support families in a similar situation.

“I’ve been training hard and I would love as many people as possible to throw a couple of pound in the pot! Every penny counts and it will all go towards the amazing work carried out right here in Tayside.

“I’m being accompanied by some very special people on each leg of my challenge and I cannot wait. What better way to spend my 50th birthday?”

Arlene’s Ironman 70.3 will take place on her actual 50th birthday which is Thursday 24th June.

  • Starting 7.45am. 1.2 mile (2km) swim at Live Active Blairgowrie

  • Approx 9am.  56 mile (90km) cycle from Blair - Dunkeld - Sma’ Glen - Crieff - Kinkell bridge- Auchterarder - Forteviot - Forgandenny - near Bridge of Earn. 

  • Approx 1:15/30pm. Half marathon 13.1 miles (21.1km) run starting on the back road around Kigraston - Bridge of  Earn - Edinburgh Road - Tay Street - Bell's Sport Centre - along the river towards Almondbank

  • Approx finish between 3:15pm - 4:30pm at George Duncan track at North Inch Community Campus 

The track will be open from 2:45pm if you want to head out to cheer Arlene on. She'd also love to see you anywhere along the route and has said that if it’s really hot, you should feel free to spray water at her to cool her down! 

Hayley continues in her recovery and the gratitude of Neil, Katie and big brother Findlay, remains as strong as ever.

Neil commented, “It’s your family, your friends, the people you work with - the list is so long but I hope they know who they are and what they mean to us. And as for TCCL  – we don’t know what we’d have done without them. So much support, in ways we never knew we needed, came our way. It’s not been easy – but they have made it easier.”

If you’d like to donate, follow Arlene's link here