Business leaders across the North East have been busy keeping fit to win a challenge laid down by Alan Shearer and Graham Wylie.
The ex-footballer and the multi-millionaire entrepreneur have teamed up to bring the latest craze to the region with Speedflex keepfit machines.
And they laid down the gauntlet with the business community to get workers from behind their desks and down to the gym to lose the most calories among a team of seven.
Now, determined members at Speedflex gym in Burdon Terrace, Jesmond, Newcastle, have taken on a second task in a 24-hour non-stop challenge to raise money for the Children’s Heart Foundation Unit at Newcastle’s Freeman Hospital, where they saved the life of Mr Wylie’s twin daughter Kiera.
Last month companies ranging from Sintons Solicitors to Virgin Money and from Sanderson Young to KMPG took part in the Speedflex Corporate Challenge.
Around 60 teams from dozens of companies joined in and taking the winning title were workers from Cellular Solutions-based in Sunderland, who lost a massive 7,100 calories between them over two weeks.
Yesterday Shearer joined pal paralympian Stephen Miller to meet the winners to present their award and give them a free six week programme.
The Speedflex equipment is from America and is sweeping Britain- thanks to Mr Wylie, who also owns Close House Hotel and Golf Club at Heddon-on-the-Wall, Northumberland, owning the European distribution rights.
Shearer liked the equipment, which works on resistance and leaves no pain in the joints or muscles, so much that he also decided to invest.
Shearer, who is a director of Speedflex Europe, said: “This is a great way to get fit. Deals are done on the golf course, so why shouldn’t business deals be done in the gym? Businesses from around the region gave up an hour of their time, with their colleagues, to enter the Speedflex Corporate Challenge at Jesmond, and today we have our winners Mike and Peter Bowers with a team from Cellular Solutions in Sunderland, who collectively burnt an impressive 5,100 calories in the 45 minute session”.
Athlete Stephen, from Cramlington, was able to walk down the aisle to his bride in August, getting out of his wheelchair for the most important day of his life. He is able to use the machines while in his wheelchair, sitting up and standing as part of the session.
The Speedflexathon saw a team work on the machines non stop for 24 hours trying to beat last year’s challenge of 122,507 calories lost. Each person involved changed places every 45 minutes. Well known CHUF campaigner Ivan Hollingsworth took on five consecutive 45-minute sessions.