Olympics legend Fatima Whitbread backing Mail campaign

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AN Olympic medal-winning javelin star has thrown her support behind the Mail’s Race for Fitness campaign.

Fatima Whitbread, former world and European javelin champion and Olympic silver and bronze medallist, is urging people to “embrace a healthy lifestyle” as Britain gets ready to welcome the world’s finest athletes.

The Hartlepool Mail launched our race for Fitness campaign earlier this week and it has already won backing for a range of health bodies, charities and campaign organisations.

Hartlepool and east Durham has a shocking health record for levels of smoking, alcohol-related hospital admissions and heart disease.

We want to hear from at least 2,012 people who plan to spend this year improving their health ahead of the Olympic Games in London in 203 days.

Speaking to the Mail during a recent visit to the area, Fatima backed our campaign and said it is not just athletes who should get in tip-top shape in Olympic year.

“It is really important for people to take a close look at their lifestyle,” she said.

“Being fit and active is life changing, I would encourage people to learn to embrace a much healthier lifestyle and diet and to take a much more active approach.”

The town has a shocking heart disease record, is above the national percentage of adult smokers and an investigation in 2010 showed almost 30 per cent of Hartlepool’s drinking population downed more than the recommended daily intake.

Fatima, who launched her own fitness campaign this week, called Fatima’s Fitness Fight on ITV’s This Morning, said she is looking forward to welcoming the world’s greatest sporting spectacle.

She took time out of her own projects to visit Crissy Rock during the Peterlee actress’s stint on stage at Billingham Forum.

The two became close pals during the recent series of I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here.

She added: “The Olympics is going to be a fantastic experience for so many people.

“It is a very big year for our athletes.

“Most of their preparation should be done now, it’s just a case of staying healthy and injury free.”

Want to get involved? Contact Chris Cordner at New Clarence House, Wesley Square, Hartlepool TS24 8BX or via email Chris Cordner