Australia: Burnley man Down Under prepares for epic 24-hour fitness charity challenge
A Burnley-born man living in Australia is readying himself for a lung-busting charity challenge which will see him exercise for 24 hours straight to raise money for mental health charity The Top Blokes Foundation.
Henry Watkins, who moved to Shellharbour 60 miles down the coast from Sydney to work on an engineering scholarship, will spend eight hours sparring on a punchbag, eight hours on a treadmill, and eight hours on a stepper during the challenge, which will take place at Anytime Fitness Shellharbour on June 20th later this year.
Working with Burnley-based kick-boxer Ben Lupton (the two are in regular contact online) to tailor his fitness regime and nutrition ahead of the challenge, Henry - a former jujitsu fighter who claimed a bronze medal in Mixed Adult Fighting at the 2015 British Championships - has been supported by a number of local businesses and is aiming to raise AUS $5,000 for a New South Wales-based mental health charity.
"I'm doing this to give back to others and help where I can as, nine years ago, I was given support at the start of what would be an ongoing battle with mental health issues," said Henry, who in 2017 completed a nine-hour punchbag challenge at Lifestyle Fitness in Burnley to raise £1,100 for Pendleside Hospice in memory of his late grandfather.
"I want to make it clear that it's okay to seek help and inspire these young lads to reach out when they need it," he added. "Top Blokes basically helps young lads from all backgrounds with all sorts of issues [and] $5,000 is the cost of running a 16-week workshop in which they can work with the lads and give them guidance and counselling."
To make a donation to Henry's cause, head to https://fundraise.topblokes.org.au/henry-watkins
By Jack Marshall, Burnley Express; published February 19, 2020 - 10:02a.m.