Still time to back the campaign

Hartlepool boxer Savannah Marshall.
Hartlepool boxer Savannah Marshall.

THE countdown to the London Olympic Games is well and truly on – and with less than 100 days to go there’s still time to use the world’s biggest sporting spectacle as inspiration to improve your fitness.

At the start of Olympic year the Hartlepool Mail launched its Race for Fitness campaign, aiming to get 2,012 people improving their health and fitness in 2012.

Hartlepool and east Durham responded in style, and so far more than 150 individuals have pledged their support. Add to that the various health groups who have backed the campaign as well as former Olympic stars, professional athletes, celebrities and Prime Minister David Cameron.

Fitness coaches in the town have also offered various free classes in support. Now with just 98 days to go until the Games get underway, the Mail is urging people to step up to the plate, back the campaign and improve your health and fitness in Olympic year.

It doesn’t have to be a case of taking on a herculean challenge or trying out new sports.

The list of supporters includes people who have made 2012 the year they give up smoking, cut down on alcohol or signed up for a once-a-week fitness class.

We are doing this for a reason.

The town has a shocking heart disease record with more than 100 people still dying of heart disease in Hartlepool every year.

One in five people in the town still smoke and the North-East has the highest rate of alcohol-related admissions in England with 2,406 admissions in 2009-10.

But exercise can make the difference.Olympic boss Lord Sebastian Coe, one of the finest British Olympians of all time, backed the campaign and in a rousing call to the people of Hartlepool and east Durham, said: “People only need to make small changes to their lifestyle to see a difference, and who knows, they may discover an activity they love at the same time.”

Former Olympian Fatima Whitbread has given her backing, as has town television star Jeff Stelling.

Olympic hurdler Andy Turner and town boxer Savannah Marshall are also on the list.

Now it’s your turn to pledge your support for the campaign.

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 or by calling (01429) 239377.