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Big-hearted MMA fighter Leah McCourt signs up for gruelling Christian Aid challenge in Saintfield

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Leah McCourt

Leah McCourt

Leah McCourt

Northern Ireland mixed martial arts (MMA) star Leah McCourt is keeping fighting fit during lockdown by completing a challenge for Christian Aid.

Over five days, starting on Monday, the 27-year-old Saintfield woman will be completing 10,000 squats and lunges with a weighted bag, with each daily session taking up to three hours to complete.

Christian Aid is responding to the coronavirus crisis in nearly 20 countries by helping to raise awareness of the importance of regular hand washing and physical distancing.

It is encouraging people to raise money by taking part in a sponsored stay-at-home challenge.

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This can include completing 1,000 star jumps in the living room, a half marathon in the back garden, or the equivalent of a mountain climb by walking up and down the stairs.

Leah said: "The crisis has left many people feeling helpless, but it is still possible to do something positive and help others.

Exercise is important for our physical and mental health, but it also lifts your spirits knowing you are raising funds to support a good cause."

As the pandemic passes its peak in the developed world, Christian Aid hopes Leah's endorsement will help it raise funds vital to slowing the spread of the virus in developing countries.

Christian Aid Ireland chief executive Rosamond Bennett said: "Leah is a true champion. I hope that she inspires others to take up the challenge.

"We know the impact the virus has had here, but poor countries don't have enough doctors and nurses and have very few, if any, ventilators or ICU beds.

"People won't get the treatment they need if they fall ill, so it's vital we do all we can to help make sure people protect themselves."

The first supporter to follow Leah's example and sign up for the challenge was Gareth Dunlop from Newtownabbey, who sits on the board of Christian Aid Ireland and has committed to cycling the length of Ireland on a static bike in the garage of his home.

To support Leah McCourt's sponsored stay-at-home challenge, visit https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/christianaid-leah-mccourt.

To sign up for Christian Aid's Active Aid campaign, visit www.caid.ie/activeaid.

Belfast Telegraph


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