Sergeant’s 24-hour fitness challenge in memory of teen nephew

Staff Sgt David Cook receives encouragement from Capt James Foster, ahead of his 24 hour circuit training marathon to raise money for Grace House Children's Hospice
Staff Sgt David Cook receives encouragement from Capt James Foster, ahead of his 24 hour circuit training marathon to raise money for Grace House Children's Hospice
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FITNESS fanatic David Cook will take on an enormous exercise challenge – spanning a whole 24 hours.

Territorial Army sergeant David, 51, a physical training instructor, has set himself a target of completing 101 different exercises, including running on a treadmill, using a rowing machine and even skipping.

Inspired to fund-raise after the death of his 16-year-old nephew Lee from a brain tumour in 2003, David is hoping to raise cash for Sunderland respite centre Grace House, which will open in the new year and care for poorly youngsters with serious illnesses.

The event will start at the TA centre for the 101 Regiment of the 205 Battery at Northfield Gardens in South Shields on Friday at 5pm and will go until the same time on Saturday.

David, who is from Town End Farm, but now lives in South Shields, said: “It’s a massive challenge and I know it’s going to be tough, but I’ve done endurance events before and I always look forward to doing them. I’m not getting any younger and I think it’s as good a time as any to try this.” David’s previous fund-raising feats include the Great North Run wearing full Army rig boots and carrying a 24lb backpack, swimming 22 miles and doing the 50km Military March competition in Switzerland.

David is also hoping plenty of his Sunderland friends will join his partner Lynn, 43, and children Jack, 20, and David, 15, and cheer him on.

“I’m still in touch with a lot of the people I grew up with in Sunderland so it’d be great if they’d come along,” he said. “At the end of the day, it’s not about me, it’s about Grace House and raising awareness of what they are going to be doing for children with life-limiting illnesses.”

To donate towards David’s charity challenge, go to www.justgiving.com/david-cook2.