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Bikini skater going that extra mile for charity

THE lengths some people are willing to go to in the name of charity is truly remarkable; from swimming the Channel, climbing Everest, running a marathon dressed in a rhino suit or even roller-skating 14 miles in a bikini.

The latter is exactly what 29-year-old Newtownstewart woman Amanda McConomy is currently training to do in aid of the Ulster Cancer Foundation (UCF).

On Saturday July 28 Amanda will be embarking from her Grange Park home to skate a total of 14 miles along the back roads between Newtownstewart and Omagh before turning at the Sperrin restaurant and heading home down the main road.

"Running was destroying the bones in my hips so I had to stop it and soon fell in love with skating, after only three weeks I noticed I had lost inches around my legs," said Amanda. "Every chance I get I am out on the skates."

It was while skating about one day and Amanda was inspired to use her new fitness hobby as a means to raise money for the UCF.

Amanda explained why she chose the cancer charity: "It is a disease that affects so many people. I am a diabetic myself but I am able to control it; I am never going to be placed in a situation when I am suddenly told that I have only a few months to live."

Amanda has been practising the route over the past few weeks, getting ready for the big day when the tracksuit comes off and the bikini comes out of the cupboard.

According to Amanda there is a great buzz around Newtownstewart, although some locals think she is "not wise" for attempting this unique charity appeal.

She said, "Everybody in the town knows me and think I'm mad for doing this in a bikini. But I don't care about the embarrassment to me, I am thinking about the money this will raise for the people suffering from cancer.

"If people want to see me in a bikini out on the roads they will have to sponsor me."

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