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Congratulations To The Fitness4Less Regional Members Of The Year 2019!

Congratulations To The Fitness4Less Regional Members Of The Year 2019!

At last the wait is over and we are delighted to announce the name of the Member of the Year 2019 for each of Fitness4Less’s nine regional clubs. As usual, we received so many heart-warming, touching and downright inspirational stories that it was extremely difficult to come up with just one winner for each club, but we hope you’ll agree that the finalists all deserve our admiration and applause.

Not only have these brilliant people been awarded the title of Member of the Year for their individual gym, but they will also receive the prize of a year’s free membership. Let’s hope that they all continue to progress on their fitness journeys and that the money they save on gym subscriptions over the next twelve months will be freed up to spend on a few well-deserved treats or days out!

Their names will now go forward to the competition’s final stage, and one of them will be chosen to win the accolade of overall Fitness4Less Member of the Year 2019, and will receive the fantastic prize of vouchers for fitness clothing and a well-deserved holiday in their dream destination. Follow us on Instagram and Facebook to find out who will be crowned as this year’s worthy winner.

So, many congratulations to all our worthy regional winners; here are their inspiring stories: -

Bristol – Winner: Mike Ripley


Mike joined Fitness4Less Bristol about 18 months ago and in that time has lost an amazing 3.5 stone, and now feels fitter and healthier than he has in years. He goes to the gym every single day (except Sundays, when he allows himself a day off) and really enjoys using all the equipment on offer and relaxing in the sauna, which he thinks is “really effective after a lively workout!”

London Canning Town – Winner: Imogen

When she joined the gym at Fitness4Less Canning Town, Imogen was overweight, self-conscious and unhappy with her appearance. She has worked exceptionally hard and really dedicated herself to exercise, and has lost over 4 stone. Not only has she transformed her appearance and wellbeing, but also she has gained enormously in self-confidence and is looking forward to the future and to maintaining and improving her fitness.

London Cambridge Heath – Winner: Cleber Santos

Coming from a humble background in Brazil, Cleber has fought hard to overcome enormous challenges, facing tough barriers in accessing education and attaining a decent life. Educating himself, achieving a balanced existence and learning to appreciate simple pleasures have been major goals. He says too that, “Fitness in particular is very important to me – it is fundamental – it is a must.” He believes that finding time to prioritise exercise has been a vital component in maintaining his physical and mental wellbeing. His hard work in the gym has certainly paid off in terms of his appearance, health and happiness.

Colchester – Winner: Hannah Kerridge


When she was only seven, after a serious road accident resulted in her mum being taken into a care home, Hannah had to grow up fast. Her unhappy circumstances led to Hannah comfort-eating throughout her childhood and she gradually put on a lot of weight. Unsuccessful crash dieting, anxiety and low self-esteem followed, until in January this year Hannah decided that for the sake of her health, she would join Fitness4Less Colchester. She says, “Little did I know how good the gym would be for me and my mental health!”

With the help of personal trainer, Andy Isted, and a great deal of effort and perseverance, Hannah has managed to lose over 2 stone. She has gained in confidence and believes she is the “best she’s ever felt and looked”. She says that Andy gave her the courage to try weight training, which she was too shy and embarrassed to do on her own. Hannah is still diffident about her achievements but says, “I’m sure there are people who have succeeded more than me, but going from someone who spent most days in bed, bingeing on chocolate and takeaways and not caring, to someone who watches closely what they eat and exercises regularly is proof that a healthy lifestyle equals a healthy mind.”

New Malden – Winner: Letti Monty

Letti received two nominations for her perseverance and determination to overcome serious medical issues and other adverse experiences that prevented her from performing everyday tasks. When she joined the gym two years ago, she used a mobility scooter and had to wear back, leg and wrist braces. She attends the gym nearly every day and has worked incredibly hard to overcome her physical challenges and get back on her feet again. She now walks unaided, joins in lots of fitness classes with enthusiasm and is a real inspiration to others.

Northampton – Winner: Andrew Welsh


After suffering two years of ill health, including blood clots on his lungs that left him breathless and barely able to walk, Andrew’s weight soared to 26.5 stone. His GP recommended him to a local obesity clinic, where bariatric surgery was prescribed, but the hospital told him he needed to get fitter before any operation could be performed.

So, taking his courage in both hands, he walked into Fitness4Less Northampton, joined the gym and enlisted the help of personal trainer, Andy Biseker, aiming to lose a stone. Andy suggested that he started with swimming 3 or 4 times a week, and from being able to swim 150m, Andrew progressed to doing 1500m each session. The same thing happened when he tried the treadmill and spin bike – he was achieving astonishing improvements and losing weight steadily. With the encouragement of Andy and the fitness team, Andrew kept attending the gym regularly and by the time he had his surgery, had lost not one stone but over six! He has since gone on to lose even more weight and says, “This is great news for me. The walking stick is long gone, I don’t get so breathless doing normal tasks and my clothes are several sizes smaller. Statistics so far – start weight 26st.7lbs – current weight 17st.7lbs.” Andrew’s total weight loss so far is an amazing 9st and he is determined to reach his target weight of 14st but believes he may do even better. Which just goes to show that hard work and determination can really pay off!

Southwark – Winner: Freya Axworthy


Throughout her teens, Freya was a very keen tetrathlete (a sport combining shooting, swimming, horse riding and running). She also participated in eventing (an equestrian sport combining dressage, cross country and jumping), netball and lots of other sports, despite suffering back twinges and shoulder pain, which she ignored. Six years ago, when she was living in the UAE, the pain got much worse and she could barely walk, let alone do the sports she loved. She was eventually diagnosed with severe spinal and tendon problems and drastic surgery seemed the only option. Moving back to England, Freya enlisted the help of an osteopath and therapist, who recommended personal training. In 2018, she joined Fitness4Less Southwark and started working with PT Nadia Italiano, whom she describes as a “legend”. Working together with all three professionals, Freya’s fitness and strength have improved so much that she is looking very positively to the future and to taking up riding and her other favourite sports again.

Watford – Winner: Kris Clarke


Five years ago Kris suffered a violent attempt on his life, which left him physically and mentally traumatised. Understandably, his health went into rapid decline and he was diagnosed with PDSD and numerous other related disorders. Kris’s confidence plummeted and he began to gain excess weight. Sadly, a so-called “expert” exploited his fragile mental state and persuaded him to embark on a costly crash diet, which resulted in him losing half his body weight in six months but also resulted in a complete nervous breakdown and his admission to hospital.

On returning to work as a barber, he decided to join a gym to see if that would help. Unfortunately, when he disclosed his medical history, his local gym felt they had no one sufficiently experienced to work with him. However, in 2016 Kris walked through the doors of Fitness4Less Watford, where he received a friendly and sympathetic reception. After a long chat, Kris was assured that, with his doctor’s consent, personal trainer, Steve Barson, would be delighted to help him. Three years on, Kris has come off medication and feels that by concentrating on his fitness and training, he has been given a second chance in life, and is fitter, stronger and more resilient. He now uses his career as a barber to help other men open up about their problems, as well as promoting exercise as a potent aid to mental and physical wellbeing.

Worcester – Winner: Karolinn Allen


18 months ago, at the age of 45, Karolin was overweight and suffering from painful sciatica, a torn calf muscle and the aftermath of surgery on a dislocated shoulder. She decided it was time to “fight back” and joined Fitness4Less Worcester. Since then, Karolinn has lost nearly 5 stone and dropped an incredible five dress sizes. Not only that, but she has competed in a Race For Life and two Wolf Runs and is now in training for a Paras’ 10 ten-mile endurance challenge this September. She says that, “Making a decision to take my life and health back was hard and fun and challenging, but the staff and members at Fitness4Less were so supportive and helped keep me motivated. It’s like I have a second family!”

Keep reading our blogs and visiting our social media platforms to find out who will be crowned overall Fitness4Less Member of the Year 2019 for the whole group with the prize of vouchers towards an amazing holiday and fitness clothing. And if you were unsuccessful this time, why not start thinking about next year's competition and whether you could achieve the life-changing results that could make you a winner too!

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