World Cup winner from Stafford hangs plaque on local building

Pictured above are left to right Gareth Davies, Councillor Carolyn Trowbridge and Richard Whinnerah, general manager at Freedom Leisure

A plaque now hangs on a building in Stafford to acknowledge the fact a World Cup winning man Staffordian started his sporting career there.

Gareth Davies, who was crowned the World Champion at the Nordic Walking World Cup 2019, has been teaching Nordic Walking for more than 10 years at Rowley Park in Stafford, Staffordshire.

To mark the occasion, he has presented a commemorative plaque that is now on display at the building.

Gareth said: “During this time, I’ve taught all ages/abilities this remarkably universal and accessible form of exercise. The movement originates from classic cross-country skiing and uses specially designed poles, (different to normal hiking poles), to help propel an individual forward using upper and lower body strength for a low impact yet highly effective workout.

“The beauty of Nordic Walking is that it can be done at many different fitness levels, on virtually any surface, all year round. I’ve helped many people with their general mobility, weight-loss, fitness goals, even winning National and International Nordic Walking Events.

“In 2019 I took a team from Stafford to attend the INWA Nordic Walking World Cup in Estonia where we successfully became World 10km Team Champions and I became the Individual Masters World Champion… something I have been very proud to share with my hometown.

“Much of my activity is based at Rowley Park and it was here where I started in 2010. To acknowledge the support I have received from locals, Stafford Borough Council and Freedom Leisure, I was glad to present a commemorative plaque to Councillor Carolyn Trowbridge and Richard Whinnerah of Freedom Leisure that depicts my World Cup success.

“Now on display at Rowley Park Stadium, Stafford. I hope this will serve to inspire others wishing to improve their health and fitness in the years to come.”

Carolyn Trowbridge, Cabinet Member for Leisure in Stafford, Borough Councillor for Rowley Ward and County Councillor for Stafford West Division said: “I’ve personally witnessed the improvement in Gareth’s clients and feel Stafford is lucky to share in his knowledge and professional coaching skills.

“It’s been a pleasure to follow his achievements establishing Stafford and Great Britain firmly on the Nordic Walking world map.

“With the 2022 Commonwealth Games coming to the West Midlands, it’s great that Stafford has Gareth to champion fitness for all.”

Richard Whinnerah, General Manager at Freedom Leisure, added: “All the staff at Rowley Park Stadium continue to recognise Gareth’s dedication to health and fitness.

“We’re proud to support his success in Nordic Walking. Gareth sees Rowley Park as his home training ground, though we can now call it the home of a world champion.”

For more information on how you can learn Nordic Walking visit the British Nordic walking website, the GD Fitness and Nordic Walking Facebook page or call Gareth Davies on 0786 4976095.

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