53 charity challenges held over 53 weeks

Fitness Co-ordinator Ivan Down.
Fitness Co-ordinator Ivan Down.

A fitness co-ordinator at the Francis Scaife Leisure Centre has planned an unusual way of celebrating his forthcoming 53rd birthday.

Instead of going for a meal or a drink one night, Ivan Down has set himself a year-long challenge to raise money for charity.

In previous years Ivan has succeeded in raising money for charity through single event annual physical challenges but now he hopes to raise a significant amount of money with 53 demanding physical challenges in 53 weeks.

Ivan said: “I am supporting The Army Benevolent Fund, Bowel Cancer UK, the British Lung Foundation, Scope and the Stroke Association. For personal reasons I hold all these organisations very close to my heart.”

Challenge 53/53 will include nine marathons, an ultra-marathon, an Iron Man distance triathlon, a number of half marathons, long distance open water swims, long-distance cycle rides and other gym based challenges.

Ivan said: “If anyone would like further information please come and speak to me. I would be grateful for any support and hope to get as much sponsorship as possible. All money raised will benefit some very worthy charities.”

The first of Ivan’s physical challenges will take place tomorrow (Friday 12 February) with a marathon on the Concept II rowing machine at Francis Scaife Sports Centre.