A worthy cause

A political heavyweight is risking a punch on the nose to help raise funds for youngsters suffering from the same genetic disease that sadly led to the death of a baby from Crewe.

Jonathan Arnott, a UKIP MEP, is taking part in a chess-boxing event on Sunday in London with the aim of raising money for theAlly Cadence Trust for Spinal Muscular Atrophy.

Sophie Harling

He decided to promote this particular charity after hearing about the death of Sophie Harling, who sadly died last October aged just ten months. She was the daughter of a fellow MEP’s employee, Wayne Harling, who lives with his wife Lizzie in Crewe.

Jonathan is to face Lib Dem Toby ‘Slowby’ White in the contest of “brains and brawn” at London’s famous boxing venue, York Hall, on April Fools Day – but it  is no joke and he wants as many people as possible to show their support by donating to the charity.

The contest involves involves three minute rounds of chess followed by two minutes of boxing. Chess and boxing rounds alternate until there is a winner. Competitors can either knock their opponents out by checkmate on the board, or more fittingly by a knockout in the boxing ring. If neither checkmate nor knockout occurs, then the end result of the bout is determined by the judges’ scorecards.

36-year-old Jonathan has previously competed in international chess tournaments but as a novice boxer he has been practising with a sparring partner to build up his stamina and expertise.

“I want to make a difference for a fantastic charity, and what better way than this?’, he said.

Wayne Harling said, “We are immensely grateful that Jonathan is risking a punch on the nose to help raise funds for ACT for SMA. Those afflicted with this terrible disease need as much help as possible with practical assistance for items such as sensory toys, specialist car seats and prams etc.”

Donations can be made online at http://www.justgiving.co.uk/arnott

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