ScHARR PhD student Chris Fitzgerald and current UK under-25 strongest man Paul Smith are helping people who have previously been addicted to heroin and crack cocaine to get their lives back on track. They have set up a programme of weekly strength and conditioning sessions to guide a team of south Yorkshire strongmen to competition standard through a project called Strong Saturdays.
Chris said: “Clean living requires the rebuilding of the ‘addict’ identity and I’m exploring whether exercise might provide a medium for such identity reconstruction.”
Strong Saturday athlete Steve says the support of his strongmen group has helped him remain abstinent. He said: “At the age of 19 I was mentally, spiritually and physically broken. I had imprisoned myself to a life like a Scalextric track, doing the same thing day in day out to get my fix.”
“I go to Narcotics Anonymous regularly and keep up my recovery in check. What’s more, I can and will be a dad to my amazing son and I have a future.”