Meet the skydiving Devon fitness coach from fit20

Devon fitness coach, Duncan Attwood of fit20 Exeter and his daughter Leah, (16) recently made their first skydive despite sharing a fear of heights. The pair jumped out of a plane at 15000 feet to support InFocus Charity which supports young people with vision impairment and complex needs.

Duncan and his family live in Bude, but he works in Exeter where he owns a Fit20 franchise. This is a unique fitness concept that helps people increase strength and vitality through one weekly session of 20 minutes.

“Skydiving is something that I’ve wanted to do for years but have constantly put off mainly due to being terrified of heights,” says Duncan. “However, seeing how brave the young people at InFocus are, inspired me to face my fears.”

Devon fitness coach Duncan Attwood
Devon fitness coach, Duncan Attwood and his daughter Leah.

“I didn’t like the jump,” said Leah afterwards, “but it was for a good cause. Thank you to everyone who sponsored us.” Together they raised £1295 for the charity.

Both Duncan and Leah jumped in tandem with a qualified skydiving instructor, so it wasn’t as scary as parachuting alone. Nevertheless, quite an achievement especially considering their fear of heights.

The dive, which was cancelled twice, was finally held on 3rd July which happened to be Duncan’s 44th birthday.  Duncan and Leah and the InFocus skydiving team jumped with Skydive Buzz Ltd which is based at the Dunkeswell Airfield in Honiton. Skydive Buzz has been arranging charity dives since 1964.

InFocus is a national resource for young adults from across the UK who have vision impairment and other complex needs. The charity  recently celebrated its 180 years of working in Exeter and offers specialist education in school and college, together with residential services for young adults.

Devon fitness training in just 20 minutes a week

“I found out on the day of the Skydive that you land on your bottom,” the Exeter-based coach said. “Apparently, it prevents damage to the hips etc.”

So, did being in peak fitness condition help with the jump? 

“Of course, although my instructor told me he couldn’t bend my legs backwards for the landing because they were too strong. The only negative side-effect I’ve even experienced from my own strength training programme!”

Duncan says the skydive experience only lasted five to six minutes, but that the memory will last forever. “It’s a bit like doing a short burst of training, you don’t think it will make a difference, but if done properly, it can. In fact, the latest fitness research proves that just 20 minutes of strength training a week is enough to achieve significant strength gains.”

Contact fit20 Exeter on 01392 367 039

Duncan Attwood in action. He aims to help people who don’t like exercise, or don’t have the time for it. Duncan heads up fit20 in Exeter, which is part of an international chain with 170 studios in 10 countries and 19,300 members.

Also read: Help a neighbour power up with the Co Charger App, devised in Devon

Al Gibson

The founder of Countdown Creative, Alistair Gibson is an expert communicator who has learned how to harness principles of traditional journalism with the power of today’s digital media platforms. He has lived in Devon for 15 years and worked in Plymouth and Exeter.

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