Chesterfield’s Unit 1 members aid hospice through 62-mile walk

Hannah Kendall, Nicki McCran, Scot Wilkinson, Craig Mellish, Dave Cartawick, (Kneeling) Angelo Pezzuto, members of Unit 1, who took part in the London 2 Brighton challenge.
Hannah Kendall, Nicki McCran, Scot Wilkinson, Craig Mellish, Dave Cartawick, (Kneeling) Angelo Pezzuto, members of Unit 1, who took part in the London 2 Brighton challenge.

Tireless charity champions have stepped up hospice funds after a blistering 62-mile sponsored walk.

Six members of Chesterfield’s Unit 1 Fitness and Martial Arts completed the London 2 Brighton Challenge in which 2,000 adventurers walked, jogged, and ran from capital to coast.

Dave Cartawick, chief instructor of the award-winng sports club and head coach of the British Karate and Kickboxing Association, said: “We work closely with Ashgate Hospice as it is a local charity and we all know people who have been patients in there.

“We did this walk to help raise money for an amazing local charity, as a personal challenge for all members of the team and to help to inspire other members of Unit 1 and beyond that whatever you set for yourself, if you work hard, dig deep and prepare properly, you can succeed.

“The London 2 Brighton Challenge is an annual event and we chose this one as it was a tough course and would challenge us mentally and physically.”

The group, completed the challenge in 22 hours and four minutes. Dave said: “The main problem encountered was blistered feet.”

Members who joined Dave on the walk were Nicki McCrain, 39, store manager for Dorothy Perkins/Burton Menswear in Crystal Peaks, Hannah Kendall, 37, who teaches boogie bounce and other fitness classes at Unit 1, Scot Wilkinson, 46, a lorry driver, Craig Mellish, 52, a builder, and Angelo Pezzulo, 53, a steel fabricator.

Dave, 52, said: “We spent many hours preparing for this walk, starting in December. Every Sunday, we would walk between 25 and 40 miles, in all conditions, including through the night. As a coach for many years, I am aware that it is all about preparing correctly.”

Members of Unit 1 have raised around £60,000 for various charities over the last few years.

Dave said: “Every year we have a charity week, all students participate in the annual Kickapolooza. This year the students completed 2, 776,780 kicks, 18,940 press-ups and 31,440 sit-ups.

“Hopefully with the walk and Kickapolooza, we should raise around £7,000 this year.

The walkers are still collecting money through a JustGiving site. To sponsor them, visit www.justgiving.com/fundraising/unit12018.

Unit 1 Fitness and Martial Arts at Brimington Road has been based in Chesterfield since 1982 and numbers 41 world champions and many other international champions among its ranks.

The sports centre is home to 600 students, ranging from four years old to 72 years old. Dave has been awarded Chesterfield’s coach of the year for four of the last five years and is one of the top two Active for Life coaches in Derbyshire.