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Triathalon Champion Paramedic Competes for Great Britain

29 August 2007

29 August 2007

Dewsbury-based Paramedic Chris Fothergill is today (Thursday 30 August) heading to the finals of the World Championship Triathlon in Germany.

Chris, 36, who is part of the Yorkshire Ambulance Service Lifecycle Team, won the British heat of the 35-39 age-group of the competition, which took place in Wakefield last month. This qualified him to go to the World Championships in Hamburg this weekend.

Chris - who is part of the Wakefield Triathlon Club - will have a 1 1/2 kilometres open water swim, 40 kilometres cycle and then a 10 kilometres run. He'll be up against triathletes from all over the World.

When Chris learned he was through to the finals he appealed for help with the sponsorship he needed to enter the event. Direct Ventilation Distributors Ltd of Leeds gave him £500 and the rest came from staff at Dewsbury Ambulance Station - who held a cycle to work day and raised £330, Total Sports Coaching and Yorkshire Ambulance Service Sports and Social Club.

Chris said: "No funding exists for Great Britain Age Groups and it would not have been possible for me to fulfil this dream of representing my country at the very top of my sport. It feels brilliant knowing I'm going to the World Championships. I've had a lot of support from my family - in particular my wife Christine and son Lewis. Fitting family, work and training in was tough, but it's been worth it."

Notes to Editors:

1. The Yorkshire Ambulance Service (YAS) operates 60 Ambulance Stations throughout the county, with its main headquarters in Wakefield. It holds a budget of ?147 million. YAS was formed on 1 July 2006 when Tees, East and North Yorkshire, West Yorkshire Metropolitan and South Yorkshire Ambulance Services merged. The Service serves a population of 5.4 million people and covers varying terrain from coastal areas, large urban areas and inner cities to dales and rural expanses covering an area of 6,000 square miles.
2. Everyone who works on the Lifecycle has to attend a three day International Police Mountain Bike Association (IPMBA) course on Emergency Services Cycling. They then have to have a one day orientation ride with a member of the team. The physical demands require that everyone has to maintain a good level of fitness.
3. The lifecycle first began in Yorkshire in 2001 - in York. It has helped stand down 20 per cent of ambulances, leaving them free to attend other emergencies.


Produced By: Corporate Communications Department