Inspired by some of the participants from earlier Believe & Achieve days, who told us they struggled to return to fitness after having meningitis, our Health & Fitness Day will take place in February at Challenge 4 Change in Manchester.
This venue was chosen by us partly because it was a venue that Alex Williams – who was our original inspiration for the Believe & Achieve Programme – enjoyed visiting. Alex’s mum told us that it was somewhere that Alex, who was the founding Young Ambassador for Meningitis Now but who sadly passed away in 2012, “loved”.
The event will help you to:
- develop new skills;
- learn about returning to fitness after illness;
- develop your knowledge about nutrition;
- learn ways to motivate yourselves;
- pick up some new exercise techniques; and
- understand the impact of ill health on fitness and recovery.
The day will be led by some brilliant health and fitness champions – including ex-Royal Marine commando Aaron Moon, who lost his leg in an IED blast while serving in Afghanistan.
After leaving the Marines, Aaron became a fully qualified personal trainer and ran his own gym. But when the gym closed, he started working at Challenge 4 Change.
“I loved this opportunity as it allowed me to help others and to use my story to inspire and help people,” Aaron told us.
At the same time as working at Challenge 4 Change, Aaron also trained as a professional golfer - but said his real passion was helping and inspiring others.
“I am now looking for new opportunities like working at Challenge 4 Change where I can use all I have been through and overcome to help others,” he said.
Aaron has another inspirational story to encourage anyone who might be feeling hesitant about getting back into sport and fitness after dealing with the impact of meningitis: “I also have started playing full contact disabled rugby league for Wigan Warriors' disabled team,” he told us. “This was a sport I played all my life but I never thought I would again after losing my leg.”
Another of our fitness champions who will be there on the day is Lauren Sanders, who was born with spina bifida and hydrocephalus. Lauren also has an incredibly inspiring story, which she hopes will encourage Believe & Achievers to get stuck in to the fitness event.
“Doctors were certain that I wouldn't walk, talk or go to mainstream school,” Lauren told us. “But despite not being able to walk correctly, I still managed to get through school, compete in horse riding and made it to University with an array of friends and family helping me through.
“Since then I've had life-changing surgery, completed a 10k race, a half marathon and a climb up Snowdon. I am now re-training as a personal trainer and have my mind set to competing in a future Paralympics in swimming, powerlifting and climbing. Nothing is ever out of reach - it just needs adapting to make it work!”
We hope these stories will be enough to inspire you to sign up to the event but if you need any more encouragement, tomorrow we’ll feature an interview with one very special sportsman whose story you will definitely want to read! Watch this space for more information!
To sign up to the Believe & Achieve Health & Fitness Day please visit our sign up page here.