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A man from Newry is battling to overcome his personal obstacles and chase a potentially life-changing dream thanks to an Everyday Battlers campaign run by Bridgestone.

The 39-year-old is participating in the campaign, and he has already embarked on a four-month journey to conquer his mental obstacles - and get into shape for a 10km run.

Alastair has been suffering with stress-induced psoriasis since the death of his mum in 2006 and wants to fight back against his condition, which touched the hearts of a Bridgestone judging panel, who immediately contacted him to take part.

Bridgestone enlisted the help of Rio 2016 diving gold medallist Chris Mears and performance psychologist, Professor Greg Whyte for the challenge, both of whom will lean on their vast sporting experience to provide both mental and physical support.

Alastair Chambers with Chris Mears. Photograph: Ian Walton/IWP
Alastair Chambers with Chris Mears. Photograph: Ian Walton/IWP

Alastair said: “The last decade has been defined by my condition and, although I’ve cleared 90% of it, I want to wave goodbye to psoriasis for good. 

“I’ve got this far and now, with the right mix of targeted health, fitness and diet goals, I believe I can beat this for good.

“I’m excited for this journey but what comes after it too. I’ve done the odd four-week training session or a badly run 5km but this is going to become a key part of my life and something that, when it finishes, will become a habit.”

Synchronised springboard diving champion Chris created the unique task for a group of people to conquer, calling on all his experience of having to fight to realise his own dreams against all odds, when he almost died from a ruptured spleen as a 16-year-old.

Fittingly, he will be on hand to guide participants through every step of the four-month challenge, which has been created to inspire people to reach their own goals, no matter their backgrounds or personal circumstances.

A total of nine ‘Everyday Battlers’ have been selected by a judging panel to participate, all of whom have an emotional story which inspired them to take up the task in the first place.

They officially met the Bridgestone team on May 18, before bespoke training schedules were created ahead of the all-important 10k race on September 21.

The group will embody the spirit of Bridgestone’s Chase Your Dream, No Matter What campaign to complete the challenge, gaining a life skill that will empower them to chase their own dreams. 

In 2009, Chris Mears suffered a ruptured spleen and was given a five percent chance of survival by doctors. He was told it was likely that he would never dive again. However, with a fighting spirit and surrounded by a team of medical professionals, fitness trainers and psychologists, he overcame the odds to return to the diving board.

Alastair Chambers training with the Everyday Battlers team. Photograph: Ian Walton
Alastair Chambers training with the Everyday Battlers team. Photograph: Ian Walton

Chris said: “It doesn’t matter about ability levels, it only matters that people have the desire to overcome whatever obstacles have been thrown at them. We want to empower them and prove that they can succeed.

“Completing a 10km run is a huge prospect for some people who might never dream of participating for a number of reasons, let alone completing the race. 

“We were touched by Alastair’s personal story which underpinned his place as an Everyday Battler and I’ll be doing all I can to help him to find the inner strength and pursue his own dreams.”

For more information about Bridgestone’s Everyday Battlers campaign, visit www.nomatterwhat.uk.com

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