Row, row, row for brave Leoni

Gym members enter Knottingley dragon boat race to raise money for charities that have helped a the owner's daughter. Leoni Smith, 11, was born with Wolff-Parkinson-White Syndrome - a rare heart condition - and was diagnosed with myositis - a muscle disease - at the age of four. Now, 20 members of her parents gym will enter the Knottingley Dragon Boat race to raise money for the Leeds Heart Unit at LGI and  Myositis UK'With Mum, Gemma
Gym members enter Knottingley dragon boat race to raise money for charities that have helped a the owner's daughter. Leoni Smith, 11, was born with Wolff-Parkinson-White Syndrome - a rare heart condition - and was diagnosed with myositis - a muscle disease - at the age of four. Now, 20 members of her parents gym will enter the Knottingley Dragon Boat race to raise money for the Leeds Heart Unit at LGI and Myositis UK'With Mum, Gemma

Fitness fans in Pontefract are raising cash for two charities that have supported their gym owner’s daughter.

Twenty members of Fitness Base gym are taking part in a dragon boat race in aid of the Children’s Heart Surgery Fund at Leeds General Infirmary which treated 11-year-old Leoni Smith, whose dad Stuart owns the gym.

Gym members enter Knottingley dragon boat race to raise money for charities that have helped a the owner's daughter. Leoni Smith, 11, was born with Wolff-Parkinson-White Syndrome - a rare heart condition - and was diagnosed with myositis - a muscle disease - at the age of four. Now, 20 members of her parents gym will enter the Knottingley Dragon Boat race to raise money for the Leeds Heart Unit at LGI and  Myositis UK

Gym members enter Knottingley dragon boat race to raise money for charities that have helped a the owner's daughter. Leoni Smith, 11, was born with Wolff-Parkinson-White Syndrome - a rare heart condition - and was diagnosed with myositis - a muscle disease - at the age of four. Now, 20 members of her parents gym will enter the Knottingley Dragon Boat race to raise money for the Leeds Heart Unit at LGI and Myositis UK

Leoni was born with Wolff-Parkinson-White Syndrome - a rare heart condition - and was diagnosed with juvenile dermatomyositis - an incurable muscle disease - at the age of four.

Half the amount raised will also be donated to Myositis UK.

Leoni’s mum, Gemma, said: “It’s really heartwarming to see everyone coming together to help your daughter. It’s quite touching.

“We can’t thank people enough for the support they have shown.”

Leoni, a pupil at King’s School in Pontefract, was born with the heart condition which means her heart beats too fast.

She had an operation at Leeds General Infirmary in November to help correct it.

Mrs Smith, 34, said: “I don’t think there are any other children who have both conditions that Leoni has.

“Her muscle condition means she tires really quickly but she is doing really well.

“She is a little fighter and she just gets on with everything.”

The dragon boat race, organised by Osgoldcross and Elmet Rotary Club, will take place at Knottingley Amphitheatre on bank holiday Monday, May 25.

Organisers were forced to cancel last year’s event due to a lack of competitors.

Mark Lovett, event organiser, said: “We’re looking to get more fitness clubs involved in the race and it’s a great day out for the teams that take part.

“Each team will take part in at least three races and it is fabulous exercise as well.”

They are looking for teams of 20 people to take part in the event. For more information or to enter the race call Mark Lovett on 01977 620766 or email osgoldragon@aol.com