Get in the saddle to help beat cancer

Jacqui Oatley
Jacqui Oatley

Wiganers are being urged to get fit and help families whose lives have been devastated by brain tumours by taking part in a spinathon.

Football commentator Jacqui Oatley has teamed up with Xercise4Less for On Yer Bike for Brain Tumour Research and is asking people in Wigan to take part in a spinathon challenge for the charity.

Teams will be pedalling non-stop on static bikes at Xercise4Less in Wigan on the day on Febraury 25 with all proceeds raised at the event going towards vital research.

The charity funds four centres of excellence, at the universities of Portsmouth and Plymouth, and at Queen Mary University of London and Imperial College, London, where each day of brain tumour research costs £2,740.

To sign up now to ensure a spot, participants need to contact Carol Robertson on

Jacqui, the first female presenter of BBC’s Match of the Day, said: “Brain tumours kill more children and adults under the age of 40 than any other cancer, yet just one per cent of the national spend on cancer research has been allocated to this devastating disease.

“Brain tumours are indiscriminate and can affect anyone at any time. I am challenging people to step up and get pedalling, this is a fun event with a serious message and everyone taking part will be helping to make a difference.

“It’s a great opportunity to think about getting fit and what better motivation could there be than supporting such a deserving cause.”

March is national Brain Tumour Awareness month which culminates with the UK’s premier brain tumour awareness event, Wear A Hat Day, which takes place this year on March 31.

Greg Scott, manager of Xercise4Less in Wigan, said: “This is a great opportunity to support such a worthy cause and we are encouraging as many people as possible to get involved. There will be a great atmosphere on the day which will help any tiring leg muscles.”

On Yer Bike began as a local event and was inspired by Paul Halfpenny, 36, from Hadfield, Derbyshire, who was diagnosed with a brain tumour six years ago and died in 2014. Paul and his wife Jen had been together for just a few months when he began to experience headaches and visual problems. Together with their friends, the couple launched On Yer Bike and the campaign has so far raised £50,000.