Swimming for Parky

By: Simon Williams |
08/06/11 |

LFE Business Development Manager Paul Urwin will be taking part in the Great North Swim in a bid to raise money for Gary Parkinson.

Parkinson is currently undergoing rehabilitation at The Priory Highbank Centre in Bury following a major stroke last September. It left him suffering from ‘locked-in syndrome’, a condition where a person is aware and awake but cannot move, speak or swallow due to paralysis of their muscles.

Many patients do not recover, but there are a number of people who have successfully fought the disease and eventually returned to normal lives.

Given the progress Parkinson has made in the last nine months, doctors have been encouraged enough to suggest to his family that he will probably make sounds and speak again.

A number of charity fundraising events have already been held for ‘Parky’ and now Middlesbrough supporter Urwin is keen to do his bit.

“My association with Gary actually goes back quite a long way,” said Urwin.

“I taught him when he was only an Apprentice at Middlesbrough and saw him graduate in to the first team.”

“I can remember watching Parky at the Old Ayresome Park ground, he was wholehearted, committed player who had an eye for goal.”

“I then had the pleasure of working alongside him when he was Head of Youth at Blackpool and it was a real pleasure. I don’t know anyone who would have a bad word to say about him.”

The Great North swim is the UK’s biggest outdoor swimming event with around 10,000 swimmers registered to take part over 1 mile, ½ mile and 2 mile events.

With some of the world’s top swimmers going head to head in the elite races, Urwin has his sights focussed solely on one thing;

“The Swim is my chance to make a contribution and I hope as many people as possible support me in this gesture.”

“I’ve been put in the sub 30 minute event and have been training hard but my real hope is that my efforts can do something to make a difference to Gary and his family,” added Urwin.

If you wish to sponsor Paul’s swim and support Gary and his family please visit www.garyparky.co.uk and go to the donate page. All donations are taken through PayPal.