Asthma UK and Fitness First

New partnership will help raise awareness about exercising with the lung condition

Asthma UK and Fitness First
Asthma UK and Fitness First

A new one-year partnership between Asthma UK and the health club chain Fitness First started at the beginning of this month in order to raise funds for the charity and increase awareness about the lung condition.

The fundraising target for the year is £100,000 and the events calendar is already starting to fill up.

A balloon race is planned for the end of the month to mark the official launch of the partnership.

Coming up after this will be an event called Follow the Flame, which will involve an Olympic-style flame being carried between the different Fitness First gyms in a relay.

Emily Sweetland, partnership and marketing executive at Fitness First, says its members will be offered priority places by Asthma UK at certain sporting events, including the London Marathon.

"It will increase our members' experience because they love to get involved in charity events," she says. "It also gives them something to train for, which helps with motivation."

Iain Cassidy, corporate, statutory and trusts manager at Asthma UK, says the charity hopes to send some of its nurses and trainers to Fitness First gyms to give staff extra training in asthma awareness.

Both Cassidy and Sweetland agree that a major focus of the partnership will be to raise awareness that people with asthma can and should take regular exercise. This will be promoted heavily, both at the gyms and among the wider public.

Cassidy says the awareness factor was one of the main reasons the partnership came about.

"There was a natural synergy there, between exercise and asthma," he says.

"My advice to others is to go for as many partnerships as possible, but focus on the ones where you can offer each other something over and above fundraising."

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