A man from Nicosia set a new Cypriot record this weekend when, aged 54, he completed a 24-hour fitness training marathon (Fitathon) in aid of Cans For Kids, the charity announced on Sunday.
At 10am on Saturday Mike Samaras began his workout at The Gym “Koutras Fitness & Personal Training Center” in Nicosia. The 24-hour countdown clock was officially started, on behalf of the minister of health, by Dr Christodoulos Stylianides, senior medical officer at the ministry.
He praised Samaras’ “remarkable attempt to train non-stop in a gym for 24 hours” and congratulated “this courageous father, as well as Cans For Kids, for their valuable contribution to the state’s efforts in providing our children with the high-level health services Makarios hospital is known to provide”.
Samaras got to work straight away, taking turns on different apparatus, and maintained the exercising for the rest of the day and all through the night until his young son rang the closing bell at 10am on Sunday morning, watched by a group of supporters.
At the outset Samaras said he hoped to double the amount raised (€2,000) when he did a similar Fitathon 22 years ago. The final tally will be known at the end of the month when the Cyta Charity Direct SMS service will be deactivated.
In the meantime, donations can still be made online (search for Cans for Kids 24-hour Fitathon on youcaring.com – https://www.youcaring.com/cansforkids-822682) and through CYTA Charity Direct by texting the word cans followed by a space and the number 1, 3 or 5 to the number 7060 to donate €1, €3 and €5 accordingly (for example ‘cans 5’). “Keep the money coming in, please” said Samaras as he left the gym for a shower and some well earned rest.
Cans For Kids is a registered charity, formed in 1990 to organise the collection and recycling of aluminium cans in Cyprus. To encourage people to save their cans, it was decided to use the proceeds to purchase medical equipment for the children’s wards at Cypriot hospitals. Since its inception, more than 25 million cans have been collected, and over €260,000 euros worth of equipment has been donated to the Makarios Hospital in Nicosia, which is the central paediatric hospital in Cyprus, treating seriously ill children from all over the island.