Martin Petrie, 37, is a personal trainer and owner of iMPact Fitness in Lancing. He has been supporting Action Medical Research since 2015 after cycling in the London – Paris bike ride. Earlier this summer he installed a new sign above his fitness studios using the ‘Action’ blue colours to help show his commitment to the charity. We caught up with Martin to find out more about his passion for Action, why he’s now embarrassed to walk into ‘B&Q’ and what future plans he has for fundraising.
Firstly Martin, congratulations on the new signage!
Thank you! We only opened around eighteen months ago but the building used to house the ODEON cinema and so getting all the right permissions took absolutely ages. Once we got the go-ahead though I knew exactly what colour it would be! And to be fair it matches the wall of our entrance…
You certainly managed to get a good colour match.
Ha – I’m so glad you said that! I could have just tried to match the colour by comparing your logo on my phone against paint in the shop…but I actually used a colour match at B&Q to my Action T-Shirt! I did get some funny looks!
We admire your dedication to detail! So how did you first hear about us?
Well, to be honest it was a happy accident! Initially I was just looking online for a cycling event to give myself a personal challenge and that’s when I stumbled across your London – Paris bike ride. But once I found your website I then actually started to read some of the stories about the families you have helped and the the research you help fund. That’s when knew that I had found MY charity.
Did you enjoy the 300 mile ride to France?
I LOVED it! I can honestly say the London – Paris trip changed my life and how I view it. I entered the event as a lone rider but everyone was so welcoming. Obviously quite a few people were there for the cycling experience, which was absolutely incredible! But there were also some riders who had personal reasons for wanting to help Action. Many of us were able to share stories which will stay with me forever. It was an incredible bonding experience and I cannot say enough good things about it. I still talk with a few of the people I met.
So tell us why you support Action.
This is probably the hardest question anyone could ever ask. Without going into too much detail as it’s still quite raw and sets me off… my partner and I lost a child between the two beautiful daughters we have. The support we had was massive and if we had a more positive outlook than a 10% chance of survival, we would have been in the hands of Action and the experts you help fund like many others. As a parent, having to make the choice to let go is probably the hardest to imagine. I’d like to support as many other families as possible by helping you to raise vital funds for medical research.
Thank you for sharing your story with us Martin, we really do appreciate your support. Do you have any more planned fundraisers on the horizon?
I’m longing to do the Paris to Geneva bike ride, so that’s a ‘definite-maybe’ for 2018. As a club, we’ll continue to organise events and make a donation each and every time a child takes part in any of the kids’ activities. I am always open for suggestions, as for me this is just the beginning of our journey with Action Medical Research.