A team running this weekend’s Virgin Money London Marathon in honour of British hockey legend Imran Sherwani have raised over £35,000 for dementia research.
The 12 runners called Going for Gold are raising money for Alzheimer’s Research UK in support of 1988 Olympics gold medallist Imran, who was diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer’s disease in December 2019.
The team are led by Steve Batchelor who won gold with Imran in Seoul. Steve set up Imran for the third goal in the 3-1 victory against West Germany in the final, which led to the iconic ‘Where were the Germans?’ commentary from Barry Davies.
Imran’s sons Zac and Aaron are on the team, while Andy Halliday, who stepped down as Team Manager for the Great Britain men’s hockey team after the Tokyo Games, will be running the 26.2miles while dribbling a hockey ball. The team also includes other people connected to the 1988 team, a friend and work colleague of Imran’s wife Louise, and staff at Cranleigh School in Surrey where Steve works.
The team have so far raised around £33,000. As part of their fundraising, a hockey challenge has also been launched encouraging clubs to hosts events in honour of Imran, which has raised an additional £3,400.
Steve Batchelor said:
“We’ve been blown away by the support we’ve had so far and hope to raise even more as we get towards race day. So many people from the hockey community who were inspired by Imran and the 1988 team have made donations.
“The marathon training has been tough, but we are keeping Imran and every family impacted by dementia firmly in our minds.
“As well as through Imran, quite a few people involved in the team also have their own connections to the cause, with family members and friends affected by dementia, so it shows how this is something that affects so many people.
“When I first heard Imran had been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s it was a shock. You feel helpless when someone you are close to is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s but running the London Marathon to raise money for dementia research is something positive we are able to do to help.”
Zac Sherwani said:
“The whole family are so grateful for the support the team has received. It is such a fantastic team to be part of and I know my dad loves it.
“My dad’s diagnosis has been very difficult for our family. It has been really hard seeing someone who was one of the most talented players in his sport now struggle to do day-to-day tasks.
“But we hope that the money we have raised will help to improve the lives of people living with dementia in the future, by improving diagnosis so other people won’t have to go through the lengthy and difficult process my dad went through, and by finding new treatments that are so desperately needed.”
Julia Sobik, Head of Sporting Events at Alzheimer’s Research UK, said:
“We can’t thank the Going for Gold runners enough for everything they are doing to support dementia research in honour of Imran.
“The vital funds raised will help us power world-class studies to make life-changing breakthroughs for people with dementia.
“There are nearly 1 million people throughout the UK living with dementia. In the UK today, there are no treatments to stop or slow the diseases that cause dementia, but thanks to our amazing supporters, like the Going for Gold team and all our London Marathon runners, our researchers are working hard to change that.”
Donations can be made to the Going for Gold team on their JustGiving page.
For further information about Alzheimer’s Research UK, please visit: www.alzheimersresearchuk.org.