University tests soap star to limit

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A FORMER soap star was put through his paces by a Sheffield university in preparation for a charity challenge.

Tom Lister, who played Emmerdale’s Carl King for eight years, enlisted the help of Sheffield Hallam’s physiology lab to measure his fitness ahead of a 2,700km sponsored bike ride.

The Yorkshireman will set off from Latvia and travel through six countries by bike, before reaching the finish line in Southampton, in May.

He is raising funds for human trafficking charity Hope for Justice.

To make sure the 34-year-old is in good shape for the fundraising feat, he called on the expertise of staff at Hallam’s Collegiate Hall.

State-of-the-art equipment was used to measure Tom’s oxygen consumption, carbon dioxide emissions, heart rate and the calories he is likely to burn on the ride, dubbed the Zoe Challenge after a victim of trafficking.

Senior sports exercise science officer Rob Scaife and technical officer Alan Ruddock tested Tom and his teammates to the limit during their intensive fitness session.

A spokesman for Sheffield Hallam University said: “We do a lot of work with elite athletes and it’s not uncommon for us to be called upon for the use of our facilities.

“In terms of Sheffield and South Yorkshire there aren’t many other places which can offer the same kind of fitness testing.

“Tom does a lot of marathons and runs and he managed to cope - even though our scientists were really testing him.”

Tom, of North Yorkshire, said: “I am thrilled to be doing something proactive that will make a difference to people’s lives.

“The money raised by the Zoe Challenge will allow a second regional hub to be developed in the UK, which focuses on the investigation of cases and the rescue of victims that have been trafficked.”

Cyclists who would like to take part should contact Hope for Justice on 0845 519 7402 or visit www.zoechallenge.com for details.