ULTRA-FIT Daniel Dixon has headed off for a new life as a Royal Marine – but not before issuing a rallying call to Mail readers.
The Hartlepool 22-year-old is urging people to support the Mail’s Race For Fitness campaign which aims to get 2,012 people into shape by the time this summer’s Olympic Games get under way.
The Marine recruit, from the Fens area, uses Brierton Sports Centre every day of the week to keep himself in shape.
Daniel, a former student at Manor College of Technology and Hartlepool College of Further Education, said: “Race For Fitness is a fantastic idea and the more people that support it, the more others will want to follow.
“Whenever I go to the gym, I see people of all shapes and sizes. I have the utmost respect for people who are out of shape and pluck up the courage to go to the gym.
“They are trying to do something to change their lives. More people should do the same.”
Daniel spoke up just before he began his new life on a nine-month Royal Marine course.
His training so far has included a two-hour endurance course, running up and down hills, hauling himself through tunnels filled with water and spending a night out “in the field” in minus-ten degree temperatures.
Daniel was formerly a student on a computer games animation course at Teesside University and then tried jobs as a labourer.
But he added: “I have always been into fitness.”
We want to hear from at least 2,012 people in Hartlepool and east Durham who plan to spend this year improving their health.
The Mail has launched the campaign because statistics show Hartlepool has a shocking heart disease record. More than 100 people are still dying of heart disease in Hartlepool each year, British Heart Foundation figures have shown.
One in five of Hartlepool’s population still smokes and the North-East has the highest rate of alcohol-related hospital admissions in England with 2,406 admissions in 2009-10, NHS Information Centre figures show.
To get involved, contact Chris Cordner by writing to him at New Clarence House, Wesley Square, Hartlepool, TS24 8BX, via email to firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling (01429) 239377.