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Space Hopper Race On Seafront

Hundreds of people bounced along the Brighton seafront to raise money for a cancer charity.

About 200 people of all ages took part in the world's biggest space hopper race on Hove Lawns on Sunday 10th December.

The event, organised by media relations consultant Glen Poole, was the first of its kind in the world and raised thousands of pounds for Orchid Cancer, which funds research into prostate and testicular cancer.

Mr Poole, 37, from Hurstpierpoint, said: "I was very impressed by the large number of fund-raising events for breast cancer but increasingly frustrated there was nothing similar for men so I decided to organise an event myself."

IT consultant Malcolm Spencer was diagnosed with testicular cancer six years ago.

He said: "I never checked myself regularly. I think it was one of those adverts with Robbie Williams that made me do it, and that was it."

After undergoing chemo-therapy Mr Spencer, 42, is now well again.

He said: "I thought this was a fantastic idea. Men don't talk about these kinds of things much.

"Even doing this, I emailed lots of people and they were happy to sponsor me but it was still difficult to talk about."

Mr Spencer, from Woodland Walk, Ovingdean, took part in the race wearing a tuxedo and raised 500 for the charity. Batman Guy Sellwood bounced along with his children Ellie, 15, Fred, 12, and Maisie, eight.

Mr Sellwood, 44, a business trainer from Twickenham, London, said: "I was wandering through The Lanes a few months ago when this man with a big pink space hopper came up to me and asked me if I wanted to be involved in the world's biggest space hopper race. It was an offer I couldn't turn down."

Even Father Christmas made an appearance. Santa Steve Lovell, 51, of Friars Oak Road, Hassocks, who was taking part with his stepson Syd Burns, 15, and son David Lovell, five, admitted he had not been on a space hopper for more than 40 years.

Mr Lovell, who runs eco-friendly decorating company Pure Paint, said: "I thought it was a great idea and it would be great fun while helping raise money for a great cause."

Organisers hoped to raise 10,000 from the race and were planning to stage a rerun, this time with 1,000 participants, on Hove Lawns in May 2007 during the Brighton Festival.

 

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