Racing to sign up for fitness drive

Steven Liddell with the "2012 Race for Fitness" poster. Picture By FRANK REID
Steven Liddell with the "2012 Race for Fitness" poster. Picture By FRANK REID

SIXTY more people have taken the plunge and pledged their support for a Hartlepool Mail fitness drive.

We are now five months into our campaign to get at least 2,012 people in Hartlepool and east Durham spending this year improving their health.

Hundreds have already given their support by taking on challenges, getting themselves into leisure centres and starting new fitness-orientated hobbies.

But now comes one of our biggest boosts yet.

Sixty visitors to the Brierton Sports Centre, off Catcote Road in Hartlepool, have signed forms to say that they back our cause.

Steven Liddell, senior assistant manager at the centre, said: “This campaign is a great idea, especially with the Olympics coming up.

“We are trying to get as many people as we can into the centre and we are putting on a lot of new things to get people coming in.”

New classes include spinning and box fit, while the centre also offers circuit training and kettle bell sessions, as well as its regular activities.

Steven added: “We need as many people as we can to get active.”

The sixty new recruits join an ever-growing list of supporters for Race For Fitness and you could be next.

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 or by calling (01429) 239377.