Charity goes glam: Ladies and GENTS don high heels for Battersea Park fun run

Battersea Park played host to a fun run with a difference, as men and women donned high heels to raise money for an HIV charity on Saturday.

More than a hundred participants turned out for Hope in Heels fundraiser in fancy dress and, most importantly their high heels, to run a circuit of the leafy Battersea Park.

Event organiser and personal trainer Sarah O’Neill, 34, from Streatham Hill, said: “We started with a warm up to Beyoncé tunes, everybody strutting their stuff in their heels.

“Then we did a 2.4 kilometre run-walk-totter-swagger, with lots of entertainment on the way.”

Butlers in the buff sign-posted the route and cheered runners on, while drag queens dished out sweets and vodka jellies.

An extensive warm up session kicked off proceedings, featuring tips and tricks from high heel guru Chyna Whyne and dance routines by Urban Play.

After hearing about the event from a friend, Chyna said she simply had to get involved.

She told SWLondoner: “It’s just been amazing. There have been men and women, in high heels, and we’ve just had an absolute laugh, we’ve had an absolute ball.”

Kostas Paschalis, a dancer from Urban Play, said: “I think the event is just amazing – the energy, everybody getting together for the cause, dancers and people walking in heels, running in heels, it’s crazy!”

A steady supplies of massages, makeovers and prosecco meant the after party went swimmingly, and it was all topped up with the quintessential British staple – a raffle.

The event is expected to raise more than £9,000 for HOPEHIV, which supports young people affected by HIV and AIDS in sub-Saharan Africa.

Sarah explained: “They are a charity that is really dear to my heart. I’ve been out to Africa three times now and seen the work they do on the ground.

“It’s absolutely phenomenal; some amazing people doing some incredible projects.”

There are currently around 14.8 million children in sub-Saharan Africa who have lost their parents to HIV and AIDS.

The charity aims to harness young people’s potential to lead change and create a better future for themselves and their families.

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