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artist's impression of new gymspace equipment at Sportspace Hemel Hempstead February 2013
artist's impression of new gymspace equipment at Sportspace Hemel Hempstead February 2013

When it comes to losing weight, Sportspace’s superfit Ben Harvey just the sort of person you want on your side.

That’s because he’s been there and done that – it may be hard to believe to look at him now, but the 30-year-old shed seven stones to achieve his current toned and trim physique.

And he is one of the team of experts at Hemel Hempstead Sportspace who will be putting the 20 contestants on this year’s Hospice of St Francis’s Biggest Loser fundraisers through their paces.

They’ll be guiding and supporting the Biggest Loser fundraisers at the revamped fitness HQ in Boxmoor.

The Dacorum Sports Trust, which runs the centre, is expanding the gym as part of a £1m refurbishment and the Biggest Loser team will be among the first to sample the new facilities .

The Biggest Loser package includes free gold membership as well as 12 personal training sessions to use throughout the challenge, group training and an eating plan from Alyson Carter of Nutrition 4 Life.

That all adds up to £700 worth of support for each fundraiser.

There will be a weekly weigh-in get together on Wednesday evening, followed by a group exercise or swim fit session.

And fundraisers will be able to make full use of the gym extension, which will boast more than over 70 brand new state-of-the-art workstations, all selected to offer motivating challenges.

Highlights include Krankcycle – in effect spinning for your arms and upper body, a new way to build aerobic capacity, upper body strength and core stability and MyRide, the latest development in exercise bikes, which use spectacular forward-motion video to catapult the user into a virtual world, allowing a ride through the the Grand Canyon or the streets of New York.

Ascent trainers and treadmills will also offer virtual locations and touch screen technology.

Sportspace marketing director Elise Hyslop said: “We are delighted to be supporting The Hospice of St Francis again this year and having a project that links the local community, health and fitness and the hospice is perfect.”

All money raised from the Biggest Loser Challenge will go towards making a real difference to the lives of families and patients at the Hospice of St Francis living with life limiting illnesses, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

The Hospice also helps those at home and needs to raise £3.7 million every year to fund its work.

If you want to be part of the Biggest Loser team you have to register – to find out more visit www.stfrancis.org.uk/biggestloser or contact Harriet Karia in the fundraising team on 01442 869555.