Jimmy Day, PE teacher at Acle Academy who has entered a competition to go into space.

Picture: James Bass

Fly me to the moon! Acle teacher’s race for votes in astronaut competition

Monday, February 4, 2013
10.49 AM

An ambitious PE teacher has high hopes he maybe able to fulfil a childhood dream and be blasted into space after entering a once-in-a-lifetime competition to train as an astronaut.

Jimmy Day is normally used to spending his days on the sports pitch at Acle Academy, but is hoping with enough of the public vote he will be able to swap cricket for the cosmos, and take a trip into space.

The optimistic 30 year old has signed up to the Lynx Space Academy and is now in the running to be picked to go through to the next stage of the global competition, organised by the popular deodorant brand.

If he can get enough votes to stay in the top 200 in the country, Jimmy will join his fellow wannabe spacemen in London for rigorous testing both mentally and physically.

After testing judges will pick just four “recruits” who will then join others from across the globe in Orlando, Florida to undergo astronaut training - including a parabolic flight that recreates the weightlessness of space and being subjected to extreme G-force in a centrifuge machine.

A panel of space experts will then select a crew they think is fit to go into orbit and although admitting it is a “long shot”, Jimmy is hoping he maybe in with a chance of blasting into the stratosphere.

He said: “I have got as good a chance as any. I’m just taking it one stage at a time and just trying to remain in the top 200.

“If I can get through to the top 200 it’s up to me and if I perform well there’s a chance. Being a PE teacher I reckon the physical side of things will be alright, and the mental tests I’ll be alright. It’s exciting times.”

Since entering Jimmy, who is head of year nine at the South Walsham Road school, has been encouraging his pupils, their parents and fellow teachers to vote for him, as well as friends and family. And so far he has managed to land a firm place in the top 200, having netted more than 550 votes.

“When I first signed up for it I didn’t think I was going to get any votes,” he added.

“My mum’s been really good and keeps emailing all her friends. And one of my best friends has really got on board now after taking the mickey out of me quite considerably.”

Jimmy, who lives in Norwich, has had dreams of going into space since he was a child and his fascination with the cosmos was further fuelled after learning about Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin’s historic Moon mission.

He said: “Being a bit of a nerd I’d stare up at the stars and think how far away the Moon is. When I realised what you have to go through to be an astronaut I thought, let’s face it, it’s never going to happen.

“But when I saw this competition come up I thought it’s too good to miss. It’s my last chance to get to space!”

● To vote for Jimmy visit www.lynxapollo.com/en_GB/9563/djimi-day