Dynamic dozen sign up

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A DOZEN more people have signed up to a Hartlepool Mail campaign to get people fit.

Runners, cyclists, swimmers and walkers - who all use sports facilities run by Hartlepool Borough Council - have put their names forward for our Race For Fitness challenge.

They join an impressive list of people which already includes Prime Minister David Cameron, Lord Sebastian Coe, Hartlepool-born Sky Sports presenter Jeff Stelling, town MP Iain Wright, Mayor Stuart Drummond and Hartlepool world champion boxer Savannah Marshall.

The latest supporters include Sharon Brennan, Anth Smith, Gemma Ptak, Steven Carter, Kevin Godfrey, Sue Gutridge, Jennifer McDermott, Donna Leonard, C Akers-Belcher, Carole Johnson and K Cranney.

There is still time for other people to put their names forward for our campaign.

We want to hear from at least 2,012 people in Hartlepool and East Durham who plan to spend this year improving their health.

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.

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.