Opticians have an eye on getting fit!

WALKERS: The Specsavers team who are tackling the 40-mile trek from Osmotherley to Ravenscar
WALKERS: The Specsavers team who are tackling the 40-mile trek from Osmotherley to Ravenscar

A TEAM of staff from a town centre opticians are gearing up for a busy summer after throwing their support behind the Hartlepool Mail’s Race for Fitness campaign.

Ten workers from Specsavers, in Hartlepool’s Middleton Grange Shopping Centre, have decided to try and get fit after reading about our campaign to get at least 2,012 people in Hartlepool and east Durham who plan to spend this year improving their health.

The staff – Rachel Percival, Steven Wheatley, Allyson Todd, Ben Noble, Lisa Cook, Laura Dalkin, Stacey Taylor, Jenny Bell, Victoria Seyburn and Lynn Scott – will start their fitness drive with a 40-mile trek from Osmotherley to Ravenscar on Sunday, May 20.

Just a week later, Steven and Ben will tackle the Edinburgh Half Marathon. Both events will see the team raising sponsorship money for Hartlepool & District Hospice and Save the Children.

Steven said: “We read about Race for Fitness, and all agreed we should do our bit.

“Some of us keep fit, while others do absolutely nothing, so it’s fair to say our fitness levels are mixed.

“But this is something we all want to do, and once we’ve got the big walk and the half marathon out of the way we will look to see what else we can do.”

Steven added: “Hopefully we can raise some sponsor money for charity as well. We have always supported the hospice as it is a local cause, and Save the Children is a great charity which we all support.”

Do you have any ideas on how you could get involved in Race for Fitness, just like the Specsavers team?

You could quit smoking or drinking, take up exercise, or go on a diet.

Or do you have plans for a sponsored cycle, run, walk or swim.

It doesn’t have to be a Herculean challenge. The most important thing is that you take part in our Race For Fitness project.

Whatever your story, we want to hear it between now and the moment the Olympic flame is lit on July 27.

Why are we doing this?

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. The town’s rate of adult smokers was 21.9 per cent in 2010/11, which is higher than the England average which is 21 per cent, according to new figures just revealed to the Mail by anti-smoking campaign group FRESH.

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.

And in 2010, a six-month investigation into alcohol abuse showed nearly 30 per cent of Hartlepool’s drinking population downed more than the recommended daily amount of three to four units for men and two to three units for women.

Whatever your story, we want to hear it.

Contact Chris Cordner by writing to him at New Clarence House, Wesley Square, Hartlepool, TS24 8BX, via email to chris.cordner@northeast-press.co.uk or by calling (01429) 239377.

l TO sponsor the Specsavers team in their charity challenges, call in to the store in Middleton Grange.