Gym hosts fundraiser for wildlife hurt in the Australian bush fires

A GYM has raised more than £1,000 for an animal welfare charity working in the aftermath of the Australian bush fires.

Monday, 10th February 2020, 6:00 am
Updated Monday, 10th February 2020, 10:55 am

My Fitness Hub, in 5 Hayward Business Centre, New Lane, raised the money by offering a range of activities, including a ‘Cycle for Skippy’ cycle ride and a ‘bounce and combat’ boxing instruction on a miniature trampoline on Friday and Saturday.

Funds raised will be donated to Wires, the largest wildlife rescue and rehabilitation charity in Australia.

Gym co-owner Duncan Teasdale said he was moved to support the group after seeing on news reports on the destruction of the Australian bush fire.

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From left, Emma Teasdale, Sam Batten and Kelly Eastland. Charity gym day at My Fitness Hub, Havant, on behalf of animals killed or injured in the Australian bush fires. Picture: Chris Moorhouse (080220-23)

The 62-year-old said: ‘I couldn’t believe over a billion animals had been lost in the destruction.

‘I feel we all have a responsibility to look after them.

‘I have been to Canada, and the US, and across Europe, but I have never been to Australia – I feel I need to go there now.’

The World Wildlife Fund in Australia estimates that as many as 1.25 billion animals and 33 people have died as a result of the fires, which have raged across the country since September and are beginning to abate thanks to heavy rain over the last two weeks.

Ben Randall and Sarah Jane Walker. Charity gym day at My Fitness Hub, Havant, on behalf of animals killed or injured in the Australian bush fires. Picture: Chris Moorhouse (080220-24)

Duncan runs the gym with his wife Emma, who shares her husband’s love of animals – and has a soft spot for one that is rarely kept as a pet.

The 51-year-old said: ‘We have two dogs, but my ambition is to own a cow. I think they are great.’

As well as the weekend’s fundraising, the philanthropic pair have raised more than £10,000 for Rowans Hospice, in Waterlooville, over the last five years, including raffling off more than 71 presents donated by members on Sunday December 22 2019.

Emma said: ‘We do a lot of charity fundraising, but this is the first big weekend of fundraising we have organised.’

Also on offer was face painting for children and a cake sale – including a kola-themed sponge cake.

Emma and Duncan bought the gym 15 years ago, after being members for more than a decade.