Nine years ago Bramley resident Antony Newby started to run all 161 of Armley’s ‘Killer Stairs’ on his own.
Little did he know that the best part of a decade later he’d be leading dozens of people every week in a bid to keep fit – and also boost their wellbeing during these challenging times.
The free weekly session runs in Armley Park every Sunday, from 2pm-3pm, and the sessions have now restarted following lockdown. Mr Newby says they’re the perfect tonic for boosting your mental health. Posting on Facebook, he said:
“Nine years ago I started to run some stairs on my own. I was suffering with depression after losing two close loved ones and I found the connection between fitness and how it was helping my mental health was better than any medication I was on.
“I started posting my photos on social media and people started to join me. I then created a logo and Facebook page and called them the Armley Park 161 Killer Stairs. After meetings with Leeds City Council I was given permission to run a stair running group at the stairs and we had people from all over Leeds joining us.
“Over the years we have met some amazing people and helped thousands of people get fit and lose weight but, most of all, help them with their mental health and getting them feeling good.”
Over the years there have been numerous fundraising Mr Newby, who runs Trailblazer Underground Fitness in Bramley, added:
“We have also raised over £30,000 to buy some disabled children new wheelchairs and to help my close friend who was fighting his battle with cancer.
“I never in my wildest dreams thought that I would still be putting it on for free but we are now into the ninth year! We had to stop due to Covid restrictions but we have been given permission to restart the group. So if you want this session to keep going then please come and join us.”
One regular told West Leeds Dispatch that the sessions were socially distanced, friendly and fun. She said:
“It’s a wonderful thing and lovely it’s back. Antony is so inspirational and friendly and it’s a lovely group which really gives me a boost to my wellbeing.
“You get people of all shapes and sizes taking part. Some people walk. Some people bring their kids. There’s no pressure or expectation, it’s just a good workout and a good laugh whether you run, walk or crawl!”
The Armley Killer 161 Stairs Facebook group can be found here. E-mail
firstname.lastname@example.org for more information, or just turn up on the day.
Check out more of WLD’s coverage of the 161 Killer Stairs here.