Friendship, team spirit and a true will to help are behind a fitness community’s project to raise money for Pancreatic Cancer UK.
A chance conversation between two gym members at Crossfit Clitheroe put the wheels in motion to produce a charity calendar with a difference, one which has become a real talking point around Clitheroe and it’s outlying villages – perhaps in part due to the friends electing to appear for the camera without their clothes.
This week, the project tragically took on a renewed poignancy, as Michael Barsby, a GP based in Burnley and the inspiration behind the calendar, sadly passed away after complications resulting from his treatment for pancreatic cancer.
Diagnosed with the inoperable condition in October last year aged just 42, Michael underwent intense chemotherapy and also travelled to Germany for major surgery.
The father-of-three, also a Crossfit member, surpassed medical expectations throughout his treatment and continued to improve, until he suffered further complications at the weekend and sadly lost his battle.
The calendar was originally the brainchild of Michael’s wife Susan, who has been helped by Zoie Carter-Ingham, also a gym member and well-established local photographer.
With photographic subjects including many of the Crossfit Clitheroe members, stars of the Crossfit world also lent their time for free with strongmen title holders Rob Orlando and Mark Felix and Sam Briggs, Crossfit’s Fittest Woman on the Earth, all being photographed.
Susan explained previously: “We have been absolutely blown away by the response we have had to the calendar, from offers of help with every stage of the process, to sponsorship, pre-sales and, of course, the help of all the amazing models who took part.
“Our wonderful Crossfit community stepped up to the challenge immediately and without hesitation and I can’t thank them enough, especially Zoie, who I had even never met before as our paths never crossed at the gym. She has put in countless hours photographing the models, editing the pictures and designing layouts, as well as marketing the calendar and dealing with countless enquiries. She’s been absolutely amazing.”
Some 1,000 calendars have been printed, with the cost having been covered by generous sponsorship from many local businesses, many who came forward completely unprompted to offer their help.
Some 450 have been pre-sold and anyone interested in buying one - they cost £10 – is urged to order quickly.
Stockists include Maxwells Cafe Bar, Sarah Rose and Tallulah-Jo’s in Clitheroe and Shackleton’s Home & Garden, Mad About Beauty and Kiss Kurls in Chatburn.
l For more information on the calendars and to order directly, visit: www.crossfitclitheroeuncovered.co.uk, ‘like’ Crossfit Clitheroe Uncovered on Facebook or call Clitheroe Crossfit on 01200 427317.