Ayr CrossFitters rally together, raising over £2000 for Ayrshire Cancer Support


In a remarkable show of strength and solidarity, Clyde Coast CrossFit gym members in Ayr tackled an extraordinary fitness challenge on Sunday, all in the name of raising funds for Ayrshire Cancer Support.

The gruelling challenge, conceived by gym owner Kevin Wesson and CrossFitter Annie Atkins, who has been courageously battling stage 4 colorectal cancer for the past six months, pushed the participants to their limits.


Aptly dubbed the ‘hell’ challenge, it entailed a mind-boggling series of exercises: a 6K row, 6K ski-erg, 6K assault bike, 666 squats, 666 press-ups, and 666 sit-ups. It was an arduous task that demanded unwavering determination and resilience.

Annie Atkins, a 59-year-old resident of Ayrshire and a decorated indoor rowing champion, coach, and world record holder, faced a life-altering journey after being diagnosed with cancer.

In November, she underwent emergency surgery for a perforated bowel and sepsis caused by a large tumour. Despite enduring chemotherapy and now living with a permanent stoma, Annie remained steadfast, attending regular CrossFit sessions and taking on the challenge head-on. She completed the daunting ordeal in an impressive 2 hours and 40 minutes.

Reflecting on the event, Annie shared, “I know it was a hell of a challenge to take on, but it pales in comparison to the daily battles and obstacles that cancer can bring, not just for the patients but also for their families and friends. That’s where Ayrshire Cancer Support offers incredible support and services, from free transportation to treatment to grief counselling.”

Annie continued, “I firmly believe in the benefits of exercise during cancer treatment. I am incredibly fortunate to have coaches like Kevin and Richard, who provide unwavering support and encouragement. The CrossFit community has showered me with immense support and kindness.”

Kevin Wesson, the visionary behind the challenge, expressed his gratitude, stating, “With one in two individuals facing cancer, the impact of this disease touches us all in some way—whether personally experiencing it, witnessing a loved one battle it, or, as I recently experienced with the loss of my father, grieving its toll. It’s a privilege to support Ayrshire Cancer Support and their outstanding work. Additionally, we are proud to stand by one of our athletes during her most challenging times.”


From the onset of her diagnosis, Annie Atkins made a steadfast commitment to confront the illness head-on. She returned to the gym four weeks after undergoing major surgery and continued her exercise regimen throughout her chemotherapy.

An advocate for resilience and positivity, Annie promotes focusing on what can be done rather than dwelling on limitations imposed by cancer. “I urge people to do what brings them joy and makes them feel good,” she emphasized. “Don’t let cancer define you.”

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