Mayor of Pendle Takes on Fitness Challenge to Raise Money for Children's Swimming Lessons

Tuesday, 8th January 2019

The Mayor of Pendle has set himself a challenge and he is joining forces with Pendle Leisure Trust to help him achieve his goals.

Councillor James Starkie has four targets in mind – to lose weight, help local children who need additional help with learning to swim, encourage other people to get fit and climb Pendle Hill by the end of his Mayoral year in May!

He said: “I do need to lose some weight and get fit, so I have set myself a series of challenges, which I’m hoping people will support me in, either by joining me during my training or helping me to raise money to enable youngsters with their swimming.

After my local parish council was contacted by Pendle Leisure Trust’s Chief Executive, Alison Goode, about free swimming for local schoolchildren, I asked my own family about it and they said that whilst most go swimming with school and learn successfully, there are a few that slip through the net for various reasons and need the extra lessons.

Therefore, I want to raise money to help Pendle’s financially or physically disadvantaged children with those extra lessons.

When I was 13, I was thrown in at the deep end at Nelson Baths and it has literally scarred me for life. I have since learned to swim and I think it is very important that everyone can do so.

I also want to get the fitness message across and stress how important it is to keep fit and healthy. I know I need to lose weight and this is my first step towards doing something about it. New year – new me!

Councillor Starkie will be using Pendle Leisure Trust’s facilities to do his training over the next four months, with the help of a dedicated team of gym instructors.

At the launch of the Pendle Hill Landscape Partnership Project in October, the 66-year-old Mayor made it to the top of Pendle Hill, welcoming the Mayor of the Ribble Valley at the summit. They had both made it to the top on quad bikes - but suggested walking it next time.

Since then,” added Councillor Starkie, “other Mayors have said they may do it with me and the Mayor of Burnley has said he will run up! I am also hoping other people will join me in May.

I have committed to these challenges and I promise I will give it my whole. With the help and support from staff at Pendle Leisure Trust and the financial generosity of the people and businesses of Pendle, I am determined to reach my goals.

In keeping with the theme of the Mayoress’ fundraising this year for disadvantaged children and younger people in Pendle, I’m doing my bit by trying to help more youngsters with their swimming.”

If you would like to support Councillor Starkie in his challenge, you can donate at www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/pendle-mayors-challenge