IT is no mean feat giving up alcohol for a whole month — especially when your second home is a pub.
But for 13 dedicated staff members and hardened regulars of The Alma Inn, in Emmott Lane, Laneshaw Bridge, “gin o’clock” is officially off limits for January, as they step up to the challenge of completing Cancer Research UK’s Dryathlon.
Dubbing themselves as Team Alma, 11 men and two women have transformed themselves into “Dryathletes” for 31 days, in a bid to raise money for charity, save money, and enter into a post-Christmas and New Year detox.
Included in the mission is Coun. Paul White, who represents the Boulsworth ward, owners of The Alma Inn, Lee Duerden and Shaun O’Neil, and the pub’s manager Ryan Taylor. Other members are Gavin Wallbank, mum-of-two Becky Hilton, sports coaching development student at Liverpool JMU Chris Gill, manager at Nationwide Marquees Chris Jowett, IT manager at XLCR Vehicle Management Stephen Price, NHS data quality coordinator Emma-Jane Macdonald, operations manager at The Alma Inn Michelle Kendall, head of logistics at XLCR Vehicle Management Ryan Duerden, and aerospace engineer at Rolls Royce Nicholas Ellis.
Mr Taylor said: “It is for a great cause. It is quite ironic that we are in a pub, but we are doing it.
“Hopefully the unusual link will add to it a bit more.”
Mr Jowett said: “We all had a mutual feeling that we drank a lot over Christmas. We heard about the Dryathlon from Paul, and thought it would be a good idea.
“It is something a bit challenging for us.”
And Mr Ellis added: “I’m apprehensive about the weekends.”
According to Coun. White, members are planning on taking up other activities over the course of the month, including going to the gym more, and organising walks.
The team has now set up an online JustGiving page — http://www.justgiving.com/dryathlete-team-alma — where anybody wanting to show their support can make a donation. Money can also be contributed to the cause by texting GINN50 £1 [or any other amount] to 70070.
On Team Alma’s website, it states: “So we all like a gin as much as the next person. Some of us like much more than one.
“This year though it’s time to give our heads a wobble through January after some recent overindulgence during the Christmas period. So we’re all giving up alcohol.
“Yes, you read that correctly. No gin in Jan, and we’re doing it for Cancer Research UK.
“We’re becoming Dryathletes. Which for some of us is the closest we’ll ever be to an athlete.”
If the team manage to stay teetotal throughout their challenge, they will be celebrating on February 1st at Pendle Blues and Athletic Annual Race Night at The Alma Inn.
For more information on the Dryathlon, which also coincides with Alcohol Awareness’ Dry January and the British Liver Trust’s Love Your Liver campaign, visit www.dryathlon.org.uk.