Pewsey's silver slider joins launch of charity dog walk in Savernake

This Is Wiltshire: Stepping out: Shelley Rudman Stepping out: Shelley Rudman

Winter Olympic silver medallist Shelley Rudman will be setting a slower pace when she takes part in a charity dog walk in Savernake Forest on Sunday than she does when she goes downhill at speeds of more than 80mph in international skeleton bob competitions.

In February Rudman, 30, won her first World Cup title in Calgary in Canada and immediately dedicated her trophy to her parents Jack and Josie who live in Pewsey.

The former track athlete who turned to skeleton bob racing when she was 22 is nowadays based in Sheffield with her fiancee Kristan Bromley --who has been skeleton bob world champion -- and their four year old daughter Ella-Marie.

She won Silver in the 2006 Winter Olympics in Turin and was flag bearer for the British team at the winter games in Vancouver although she only managed sixth place.

Currently she is ranked number one of women’s skeleton bob in the UK and her ambition now is to bring home a gold medal from the winter games in Sochi in Russia in two years time.

However, on Sunday her mind will be on completing the Best Paw Forward dog-walk in Savernake Forest in aid of Cancer Research UK.

The first Best Paw Forward walk took place in Barnes in Middlesex last year raising a phenomenal £48,000 and the charity is hoping to build on that success when it launches its first Paw Forward walk in Marlborough on Sunday.

The charity’s Marlborough branch spokeswoman Anne Deuchar said: “The south west has the highest dog population per capita in England so we have great expectations for a very successful fundraiser.”

Rudman, speaking from her home in Sheffield on Tuesday, told the Gazette: “I am coming down to Bath for a couple of days training tomorrow and then I will be driving back to Sheffield to collect Ella, who is being looked after by Kristan’s mum and dad, and we will be heading straight back for Wiltshire for the dog walk.”

She is having to borrow a dog because her lifestyle with international events prevents her keeping one and her mother and father’s dog died last year.

She heads off to Norway in three weeks time with her fiancee for two weeks training before going to Winterburg in Germany for selection races at the start of the new skeleton bob season.

Rudman told the Gazette she had her sights set on getting a gold medal at the next Winter Olympics. She said: “I have won the European championship, won the World Cup championship and I have my silver medal from the 2006 winter games.

“Now all I need is to get a gold in Sochi.”

The walk will begin at 11am and there will be a choice of a three mile or 5ive mile course.

Owners can find out how to register for the Sunday’s walk on the website: supportus.cancerresearchuk.org/events/charity-walks/Best-Paw-Forward-Marlborough.

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