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Ulverston ninja warrior goes for prime-time glory

Published on: Tuesday 17th January 2017
Categorised under: Play, Active , Education, Sport, Ulverston

A super-fit teacher went for glory as he took part in a prime-time television show.

On Saturday night Barrow teacher Ady Pierce was cheered on by hundreds as he competed in the ITV game show Ninja Warrior.

It was a special night for the 38-year-old teacher at Ulverston Victoria High School – a partner of Choose Cumbria – as he was just one of 200 athletes selected from thousands of applicants.

Mr Pierce said: "It was just a case of the kids in my form who I was teaching at the time saying I should go on it. I applied and it went from there."

Mr Pierce was one of 50,000 people who applied last April for the most recent series. He had almost forgotten about it when he was contacted by the show, asking him to come to Manchester and go through a fitness audition.

Mr Pierce said: "I didn't think I'd got in but it must have been June when they called me back. Each audition session was about an hour long, there were 20 people in each one."

After passing the fitness test, Mr Pierce was called back to Manchester in August for filming.

Ninja Warrior has a simple premise; using your athletic skill to make it through a series of obstacles to the finish line.

Although it sounds simple, the course is notoriously difficult, forcing contestants to swing from wires, make huge leaps and keep their balance on perilous ledges.

Yet even when he was in the spotlight, Mr Pierce was not overly fazed.

He said: "I was calm, I was enjoying it, but it was hard work. I had to be there from 9.30 in the morning and I didn't get on until 7.30 at night. It was quite hard work to keep yourself going."

Photo credit: ITV

His original plan had been to take on the assault course carefully and make sure he made it to the next round. However, as more and more competitors posted quick times, he decided to attack the course full speed.

Mr Pierce had great support on the day. In the crowd were his two daughters Ruby, 12, and Theadora, 9, as well as his mum and dad, and six friends who made the journey to Manchester.

He started off well making it through the first section, but when trying to cross a gap, he made a mistake of grabbing a chain which was out of bounds.

This slip-up, however minor, meant his run came to an end, and he was disqualified.

In spite of not making it through, he feels he did UVHS proud. When he took on the course he was wearing his "wolf warrior" headband, in honour of the school badge, and specially monogrammed trainers bought by his pupils.

He said: "I had lots of people give me stick about touching the chain, but it's been positive and funny. I've applied for next year's series, I know I can do better."

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