July 2024: Special issue
GLL fitness instructor smashes World Record

10 Jun 2024

Anthony Bryan, a fitness instructor at GLL’s Southbury Leisure Centre, recently took part in the London Marathon.

This would be a proud moment for anyone but for Anthony, who suffered a brain tumour and a stroke as a young child which left him with permanent injuries, it’s an almost unbelievable achievement.

Not only did he complete the Marathon, but he beat the Guinness world record for someone paralysed down one side by a full minute, raising £5k for the Stroke Association in the process.

“Doctors told me I would never be able to walk or take part in sport,” Anthony, 34, recalls. “I’ve been on a mission to prove them wrong ever since! I hope my story will inspire others – all through your life, you get told what you should and shouldn’t do. I could have listened to the experts and given up but instead, I have turned things around and created a positive life.”

During Covid lockdowns, Anthony broadcast online, Joe Wicks-style keep-fit sessions for disabled people, generating more than 2,000 followers. He now runs exercise classes for older people at the Southbury centre which have proved so popular that there’s a waiting list!

Not content with his recent achievements, he has his sights on breaking another record in The Great Manchester Run at the end of May.

He will be raising money for the Richard Whitehead Foundation which provides ‘guide runners’ to help disabled athletes to take part in sporting events.
Anthony’s own guide runner is Tyler Slade who competes alongside him, tying shoelaces and offering water and encouragement.

Sabrina Forde, GLL’s Community Sport Manager in the region, said: “We’re all extremely proud of Anthony and the amazing things he’s achieved. He deserves to be celebrated as much as possible!”


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Tel: 020 7250 8263
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