Readers back South Yorkshire mum over fight for son to join race

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READERS of The Star have called for boys to be allowed to join the nationwide cancer fundraiser Race for Life.

The Star reported yesterday how cancer survivor Claire Parker, of Capthorne Close, Chesterfield, was fighting for her seven-year-old son Connor to be allowed to join her in June’s Chesterfield race.

Connor ran alongside her last year, when boys aged under 11 were allowed to take part in the women-only event.

However, the age limit has now been cut to under-fives, meaning Holme Hall Primary School pupil Connor is barred from participating.

But readers posting on www.facebook.com/sheffield star say the events should be open to all.

Steve Locklin posted: “It’s ridiculous and sexist. Cancer affects everyone, so let everyone fundraise for it.”

Danielle Baines said: “Anyone should be able to attend.”

Craig Mason posted: “I’ve always thought it is sexist – men too get breast cancer.”

Samantha Scoley said: “I think any age and gender should be allowed.

“There’s no age limit to those affected by cancer.”

However, Adam B Ali said: “Rules are rules. Stop complaining.”

Nicki Embleton, Cancer Research UK spokeswoman, said: “Race for Life is a women-only event and has remained so due to its popularity and non-competitive atmosphere, which encourages women of all ages and fitness levels to take part.

“Last year, we trialled allowing boys under 11 to enter Race for Life events, but fewer than 150 chose to take part in 280 events across the UK.

“As a result of this and of research which shows women are keen to keep Race for Life as a female-only event, we now have a clearer policy and currently only allow boys under five to participate.”

n Claire has launched a petition – www.petitiononline.co.uk/petition/help-us-change-cancer-research-race-for-life-rules-to-let-our-boys-race/4321 – against the ban on boys.