View Point: Change your life for the better

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Thank you so much for raising awareness around activities and events at Sheffield’s vast gym and leisure facilities, writes Paul Antcliffe.

We know our facilities are the most inspirational in Britain, by permitting the general public to rub shoulders with sporting superstars.

Meeting the Lord Mayor, Coun John Campbell, on Friday presented the pinnacle moment of a great day, forever etched in our minds, after paddling through puddles to reach Hillsborough Leisure Centre.

In adversity the South Yorkshire spirit shone through, at Sheffield’s Health Awareness Day.

While it chucked it down outside our mayor addressed a good turnout of people, and received applause and cheers.

We enjoyed different zumba routines, including a Bollywood genre, and circuits, all available at Hillsborough and Concord for everyone 16 and over to enjoy.

Our celebrated Cardiac Olympics – the alternative games aimed at 45s and over, provided gentle competition.

Three of us from Concord Heart Support Group formed a team, called The Cons, (short for Concord Support).

After calm competition we came second, while having a ball – beaten by the pensioners.

Other free event dates for the diary start: Thursday July 26, 7pm, at Concord Sports Centre, for a seminar presented by an exercise referral specialist from SIV.

This truly inspirational talk marks the start, in a set of four free Healthy Heart meetings, held the last Thursday in the month, from July-October.

I beat an awkward case of diabetes. After suffering many life-threatening moments: with low and high blood sugars, muscle loss, raised cholesterol, and then being told I would require insulin for the rest of my life, I was shellshocked. It’s the speed this chronic illness takes hold from head to toe that threw me off balance.

A fellow member of Concord Heart Support Group Malcolm Christopher has recovered after a heart event, and then beat cancer, which left him with secondary diabetes – his story to recovery is a true inspiration.

Amazingly, after taking part in the Healthy Heart Project I don’t take any medication – my diabetes has gone, along with an impressive total cholesterol score of 3.8 mmol/L. I’m safely in remission and now have the strength to cycle, run and swim.

Let us also heap some more public praise on Dave Birds, SIV exercise referral manager, who sets up all these various schemes. More than 1,000 local people have been rehabilitated at Concord Sports Centre alone.

Whatever your fitness level or perceived disability, people of South Yorkshire, please come along, because it’s totally free and could drastically change your life for the better.

Paul Antcliffe, 10 Standish Way, Shirecliffe, Sheffield S5