Firefighter Mark aims to inspire

Cover model competition finalist Mark Mills of Mexborough.

Cover model competition finalist Mark Mills of Mexborough.

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A FIREFIGHTER and mixed martial arts fanatic has won his way through to the finals of a national cover model competition.

Rippling Mark Mills, 32, of Argyle Street, Mexborough, also lectures around the region on health and safety topics. He is keen to encourage everyone to improve their fitness levels - and their lives.

Originally from West Africa, Mark grew up in Mexborough and attended local schools, although he is currently in the process of moving to Rotherham.

As one of just five finalists from an initial 1000 or so entrants in the Men’s Health Cover Model 2012 competition, Mark is hoping readers’ votes will get him grinning from the front cover! He would also secure a modelling contract should he win.

The annual magazine competition challenges readers to get in shape but wants a positive, down-to-earth character whose physique is attainable to others as their role model. A healthy outlook on life is essential.

Mark, who at peak fitness almost made the bobsleigh team in the 1999 winter Olympics said: “There was a time when I was overweight due to a number of injuries, but I had a wake up call in my early twenties and decided to make a change.

“Because I have experienced the downward spiral to being overweight I know how hard it is to get motivated to lose it, and basically I want to help others prolong their lives by getting fitter too.

“I feel that not enough is done to impress upon people the real importance of being fit and healthy.”

Mark is supported in his ambitions by partner Kelly Fearnhough, 25, who trains alongside him.

Men’s Health Editor Toby Wiseman said, “We’ve been overwhelmed by both the number and the quality of the entries we’ve received for the Cover Model 2012 competition. We’re looking forward to unveiling the ultimate winner who will embody the Men’s Health attitude.”

The Cover Model 2012 competition winner will be announced at a finalists’ dinner hosted by the magazine in London where the cover of the October 2012 issue, will be unveiled.