Gunwharf Quays Nike Unite store host a fundraiser for Ace Rewcastle and Leukaemia UK
and live on Freeview channel 276
Ace died on January 15 aged just eight after his family received a shock diagnosis of acute leukaemia whilst on a holiday in Barbados. His tragic passing prompted a huge outpouring of support across the city.
Staff members took turns cycling on exercise bikes donated to the store by the PureGym in North Harbour, surrounded by blue balloons in memory of the keen Pompey fan.
There to support and take part in the fundraiser was personal trainer at the North Harbour gym Mitu Rahman, cycling alongside Mike Saunders, the community champion for the Nike Unite store.
‘Even though we’re a chain, it’s a local gym so we like to get involved in the community. There are actual people here, there is a brand, but we’re Portsmouth locals,’ said Mitu, from Southsea.
Mike, who’s niece’s cousin grew up with Ace, has been in contact with the eight-year-old’s family, who suggested funds be split between Leukaemia UK and Southampton Hospital leukaemia ward.
Mike, from Havant, said: ‘I know this charity helped a lot with Ace, I spoke to the family and that’s the charity they picked, anything we can get today will be split.’
‘A lot of people who come through the door know of Ace’s story. My niece has just come in to show her support. We felt like, when the whole city got behind it, it was something we had to do.Staff member and mum-of-two Zara Williams, from North End, was also keen to support the fundraiser, beginning her cycling stint at 3pm until close.
‘We’ve had a lot of support, people walking up and saying good luck and well done. It just shows everyone coming together, obviously with the family being so local as well,’ she said.
‘You can relate, especially as a mum. I can’t imagine what the family is going through, so if we can do something little to contribute, every little helps.’