War heroes at the heart of gym’s charity fundraising drive

Crossfit Telic's Lee Howe, right, and Ash McFee.
Crossfit Telic's Lee Howe, right, and Ash McFee.

War heroes will be honoured in a week-long tribute by a gym headed up by a service veteran.

Crossfit Telic takes its title from the codename under the UK’s miliary operations in Iraq between March 2003 and the withdrawal of the last remaining forces in May 2011.

Crossfit Telic's Lee Howe, right, and Ash McFee.

Crossfit Telic's Lee Howe, right, and Ash McFee.

Now it is preparing to host a series of workouts in the name of seven men whose lives were claimed in the conflict.

Bosses are hoping former servicemen and women will back the event and are aiming to raise cash for forces charity Help for Heroes.

Royal Marines Major Jason Ward, Captain Philip Stuart Guy, Warrant Officer 2nd class Mark Stratford, Colour Sergeant John Cecil, Marine Sholto Hedenskog (Sonic), and Lance Bombardier Llywelyn Evans, of 29 commando Royal Artillery, died in a helicopter crash at the beginning of the war.

The week, starting on Monday, will also remember Marine Christopher Maddison, also of the Royal Marines, who died days later during fighting in Basra.

We thought this would be a way to honour them and remember what they did.

Lee Howe

The workouts are the idea of gym owner Lee Howe, 34, who was in the Marines from 16 until he left aged 24 to work in private security work in Baghdad.

He runs the business in partnership with Joanne Bannatyne, with the Park View Industrial Estate venture one of a series of Crossfit gyms.

The Hartlepool outlet was launched three years ago.

Lee said: “This will run for seven days and there will be Help for Heroes buckets for people to make donations, but we thought this would be a way to honour them and remember what they did.

“I spent a lot of time in Iraq and we’re inviting any veterans or ex-veterans to come down and try them out as well.

“We do different work outs at the gym every day, but these will be a bit tougher.”