A FITNESS group has raised almost £17,000 for a hospice through sponsored outdoor activities, including swim and bike events.

The She is Strong Fitness group decided to take on the ‘Big 4 Challenge’ to complete four activities, a swim, bike, hike and climb, with a target of raising £20,000 for St Rocco’s Hospice.

Founder of the female wellbeing business, Clare Mannion, 47, was forced to take her fitness classes, including boxing and circuit training, online throughout lockdown.

She said: “I came up with the idea to improve our members physical health, their mental health by getting them outside and challenging themselves, their social health by getting together (safely) to try new things and to give back.

“The outdoor activities we've done this past month are so far away from what we've ever done before and this was the intention really, to push us all to try something new.”

The group has completed their ‘Cycle a Marathon Challenge through Cheshire’ challenge in bubbles of six, as well as an open water swim at Wildshore Delamere.

Warrington Guardian:

Ms Mannion said: “I'm so proud of what we've achieved so far, seeing a group of women, some haven't sat on a bike for 25 years and certainly not jumped in a lake before, doing what they are doing in such a short time is amazing.”

Member Joanne Clark said: “I hadn’t ridden a bike in almost 30 years and had certainly never contemplated open water swimming, which was totally invigorating and highly recommended.

“The challenge has given us all a new lease of life and allowed us to come together safely and for a fab cause.”

St Roccos’ is a charity which provides specialist care for those diagnosed with a life-limiting illness and their families.

Ms Mannion said: “St Rocco's is very close to my heart personally; my family are currently using the services they provide and we don't know where we'd be without them.

“It's so important to help local charities like this at the moment so that they can continue their incredible work.”

She added: “My big passion in life is to help women feel amazing and I want to invite all women to head to our fundraising page, click Join Team and decide to do 4 things with some friends.

Warrington Guardian:

“It will supercharge your health while giving back at the same time, anyone can participate and do it their own way.”

You can get involved and donate at justgiving.com/team/sisbig4challenge