Press release: 24th May 2016
The Team GB Trampoline Squad are the latest in a fast-growing line of sporting stars and celebrities to back the ‘Breathe With Me’ Strawfie Challenge, a social media campaign aimed at raising awareness about cystic fibrosis (CF).
The gymnasts are pictured breathing through drinking straws while pinching their noses, in a symbolic action to simulate the effect that cystic fibrosis has on lung function.
“I couldn’t believe how hard it was to breathe” said European bronze medalist Nathan Bailey. “The straw restricted my breathing so much I was gasping for air at the end of the challenge. Unlike anything I had experienced before.”
Other notable sporting stars and celebrities who have tried the straw breathing challenge include Ricky Whittle, Marlene Favela, Nottingham Forest defender Danny Fox and rugby union greats Sergio Parisse and Jean de Villiers.
“The Strawfie Challenge campaign aims to engage more people in the fight against cystic fibrosis.” Said Samantha Kay, whose three-year-old daughter Tilly has cystic fibrosis. “The support of the GB Trampoline Squad is hugely important.”
“People who have cystic fibrosis need to exercise daily to help shift the thick, sticky mucus that builds up in their lungs and other major organs. Bouncing is a very effective way to keep young children with the disease active. It helps to take the boredom out of the routine of daily physiotherapy, because they can have fun while doing it. To have the support of the country’s top trampolinists for our campaign is amazing.”
Samantha’s daughter Tilly recently met TV and radio presenter Toby Anstis at an event hosted by Champneys Luxury Spa Hotel, to promote the Strawfie campaign and raise awareness about the inherited disease. Heart FM DJ Toby has himself lost a close personal friend to CF.
The Strawfie Challenge campaign is built around a song ‘Breathe With Me’ first recorded by Crawley songstress annaJo who has cystic fibrosis. The song lyric appeals to the general public to try breathing in the restricted way a person with cystic fibrosis might have to endure.
This can be achieved by breathing through a drinking straw with a pinched nose for 60 seconds. The campaign asks that people then take a selfie performing this action (a Strawfie) and post the photo online, make a donation by texting BWCF64 £5.00 to 70070 in aid of the CF Trust and then nominate lots of friends to try the challenge.
A YouTube video featuring footage that demonstrates how many different ways CF impacts the lives of those affected can be viewed on YouTube at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EfRGmic37ik