The sister of a popular Littlehampton man who died last year was ‘bursting with pride’ after a charity fitness challenge in his honour.
Westley ‘Wes’ Campbell died suddenly, aged 37, on May 8 from heart failure at Worthing Hospital.
In her brother’s memory, Dani Heppenstall held a fitnessathon on Sunday afternoon at The Littlehampton Academy in Fitzalan Road – the school they both attended.
She said more than 80 friends and family were sponsored to take part, ranging in age from 10 to their mid-70s. She said: “The room was so full. It just made me feel so proud and honoured to be part of such an incredible, heartfelt event. I was bursting with pride, just like my mum and dad were.”
With sound and lighting supplied by Arun Church, the 36-year-old fitness instructor led the group through two hours of workouts to rock music and Westley’s favourite songs, including a medley of songs from the Rocky Balboa film series, while images of him were played on a screen.
For the cool down, Dani chose He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother. She said: “There was not a dry eye in the room; everyone was crying.”
Firefighters from Littlehampton Fire Station flexed their muscles in a routine at the end of the two-hour event, raising a massive cheer from the crowd. Every participant was given a gold medal and an orange rose to match Westley’s hair.
The dance teacher said they had ‘smashed’ their £5,000 target for the event, with one participant raising £1,700 and the raffle making more than £800. The final total is yet to be confirmed.
Westley was known across Littlehampton and Worthing for the many sports clubs he was a part of, including Littlehampton Golf Club, and football and cricket clubs in Littlehampton and beyond.
The event raised money for the React Room in Worthing Hospital’s Critical Care Unit, Littlehampton Colts Cricket Club and Rustington Otters Youth FC.