Gym members undertake 24-hour charity fitness challenge as boss prepares for epic desert trek
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The event is being held at Jim’s Gym in Millstream Square off Southgate, running from 8am this Saturday to 8am Sunday.
Around a dozen members, aged 15 to 57, will be taking part including owner Jimmy Dexter, who served with the Grenadier Guards for 13 years, opening the gym in 2021.
He explained the main cause they are fundraising for is renovation of the Lord Kitchener’s Memorial Holiday Centre in Lowestoft, which is a holiday respite centre for forces veterans, Chelsea pensioners and former members of the emergency services.
Jimmy said: “A friend who served in Afghanistan with me was killed and his father is the manager of the charity. Supporting it is a way of keeping his memory alive.”
He said some of the gym members will choose their own challenges during the 24 hours and they will be trying different workouts. “Some people are going to try to lift a total of 100 tonnes during the 24 hours. A team of us are trying to cover 500 miles in 24 hours using a combination of walking, running, rowing and skiiing machines.”
The gym has done regular low-key fund-raising events over the last two years, raising over £17,000, mainly for the Lord Kitchener’s Memorial Holiday Centre but also local charities such as the Lincs and Notts Air Ambulance, St Barnabas Hospice and Cancer Research UK.
Jim's Gym also runs wellness walks in Sleaford and local areas every year from January to April and encourages everyone to attempt a marathon in April. This started last year and was hugely successful and continues in 2024, averaging 50-plus people per walk from ages eight to 70.Jimmy, who is also studying for a physiotherapy degree in London, is also teaming up with RAF Flight Lieutenant Dominic Lunt for Project Nomad, also in aid of the holiday centre.
In July the pair aim to cross a 150-mile section of the Namib desert in Namibia on foot from east to west, totally unsupported, carrying all supplies in 35-40kg back packs.
Jimmy said: “We will need to cover it in six days or we run out of food.
"Previously we did a section of the Wahiba Sands in Oman in December 2022 as a practice run.”
While in the Army Jimmy served in various countries including Afghanistan, Kenya, Malawi and Sierra Leone. He was involved in the fight against the illegal wildlife trade in Africa and was awarded a commendation for this.
Dominic has been an RAF physical training instructor, language specialist in Afghanistan and is currently a cultural adviser. Dom brings a strong background in endurance, having completed many ultra marathons, including the Marathon Des Sables across the Sahara desert and a 100 mile event.
For more information on the challenge and to donate, go to: https://localgiving.org/appeal/projnamibkitcheners/