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Norwich gym started by RAF veteran gets a gong at Soldiering On Awards

PUBLISHED: 16:58 23 April 2018 | UPDATED: 16:58 23 April 2018

David Smith from Crossfit Spitfire won the Directors Award at the Soldiering On Awards 2018. Picture: Darren Kamara

David Smith from Crossfit Spitfire won the Directors Award at the Soldiering On Awards 2018. Picture: Darren Kamara

Darren Kamara. All rights reserved

A Norwich gym started by RAF veteran David Smith has been celebrated at the 2018 Soldiering On Awards in London.

David Smith from Crossfit Spitfire won the Directors Award at the Soldiering On Awards 2018. Picture: Paul RandallDavid Smith from Crossfit Spitfire won the Directors Award at the Soldiering On Awards 2018. Picture: Paul Randall

The event, now in its eighth year, honours those who have served within the British Armed Forces and organisations which support them. This year, for the first time, there were also three Business Awards, to celebrate the success of veterans who have started their own enterprises.

Crossfit Spitfire - a Crossfit Gym or Box - were finalists in the Community Impact Award, but were chosen to receive the Director’s Special Award.

David Smith competed as a track athlete as a teenager and after leaving the RAF he kept himself fit, learning more about strength and conditioning. He was working as an engineer at Lotus Cars in Norfolk and wanted more. After seeking the advice of X-Forces, a company which helps veterans set up their own businesses, he took the plunge and opened his own Crossfit Box in 2016.

He aimed to attract 150 members in 18 months but has already doubled that. Among those who attend are social media influencers Carly Rowena and Lean Machine’s Leon Bustin.

They also run children classes and have a real community feel, inspiring others to meet their fitness goals.They have members ranging in age from 4-73 years. They are finalists in the Community Impact Business Award. Crossfit is a hugely growing sports community and is seen as one of the toughest yet most effective ways to improve all-round body strength and fitness.

At the start of the evening the Prime Minister sent a message of support and recognition to all the Finalists. Theresa May said: “I am delighted to send a message of support for this year’s Soldiering On Awards.

“The event provides a fantastic platform to give recognition to the extraordinary achievements of our Service personnel, veterans and the groups, businesses and charities that support the Armed Forces community.

“Their efforts are invaluable and it is only right that their work is appreciated and celebrated.

“I would also like to take this opportunity to recognise the sterling work of X Forces Enterprise and all you do to support our Armed Forces. Please extend my warmest wishes to all those attending.”

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