Senior County News

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4th April 2017

Marathon Poppy appeal has Notts star Langley on the run

Alex Langleyt is widely reported that an elite badminton player runs an average of 4 miles during a competitive match without even realising it - such are the short burst of paces and constant direction changes involved.

So as a former England international who has won European circuit titles with Team GB stars Lauren Smith and Gabby Adcock, you could well expect Alex Langley – a former world top 40 star - to know a thing or two about putting the miles in on court.

In fact, the 25 year old from Leeds is temporarily swapping her badminton racket for a pair of well heeled road runners after taking on a charity challenge that will put her badminton-honed endurance through the toughest of tests.

Langley, who made her senior competition debut at the 2011 World Championships in London, is on a personal mission to run 26 miles a week for the next 26 weeks.

And her motivation to hit the tarmac is fuelled by a fund raising pledge to the Daisy Garland, a family run charity who provide care and family support to children with Epilepsy.

It is a cause that has personal meaning to Langley. Her niece Poppy has had uncontrolled epilepsy since she was 18 months old and no matter how much medication she was placed on nothing was able to control it. That was until the Daisy Garland reached out to help fund a Ketogenic dietician.

The Ketogenic diet is proven at controlling drug resistant epilepsy but is not available on the NHS.

“It is said an epileptic seizure takes its toll on the body as much as running a marathon would! So I came up with the idea of the 26 theme - running 26 miles a week for 26 weeks - in support of the Daisy Garland” Langley told us.

“I started in November and I won't finish until May! Working an hour’s running around a full time job most days is really tough. I knew I was badminton fit but this has been on another scale.”

Now 494 miles under her belt and 19 weeks into her challenge, the Nottinghamshire county star says she is on the lookout for support from the wider badminton community as she closes in on her fundraising target.

“It makes my miles feel a little easier knowing I have the support. I have seen what the Daisy Garland have done for my family and I want to make even a little difference to another family who are going through the same battles each day.”

Langley has not played on the international circuit in 4 years, since the 2013 Singapore Open - but still coaches at club level and back to winning ways for Nottinghamshire in the Premier Division of this season’s County Championships.

“I’ve played at county standard for Notts this year so I am still in really good shape and, as any good badminton player will know endurance is so important so this challenge has been a good test of that. My pace is getting quicker and I am definitely getting fitter but its still really hard work.”

So hard work in fact that whilst most of us hit the courts to compete or play socially, Langley in her own words ‘ends up running a half marathon at the weekend to try and catch up.

It is all for an end result though. All funds raised will help the Daisy Garland fund dieticians across the UK and provide parents with critical monitors that protect children who suffer severe night time seizures.

These monitors cost £880. Even a small contribution one by way of charity donation though has startling impact.

“They save childrens’ lives” Langley adds. “They help reduce the risk of Sudden Unexpected Death in Epiliepsy patients by alarming when someone seizure so every little bit of help I can get by way of fund raising support really will help.”

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