HE may be normally confined to the verbal battlefield of the city chambers, but city planning committee convener Lewis Ritchie is preparing to take on a very different fight.
The councillor is a prime contender to appear on Ninja Warrior UK – a Japanese inspired game show described as TV’s toughest obstacle course – after progressing to the final stages of the competition.
Facing off against other would-be competitors in Glasgow, Cllr Ritchie took part in a series of gruelling mental and physical challenges designed to test participant’s endurance and agility to the limit.
Over 10,000 applications were received to take part in this year’s series from athletes across the country.
Cllr Ritchie has progressed to the last 900 and is hopeful that a strong performance in his audition will allow him to book a coveted place on the show.
He said: “The audition was tough but really good fun – I gave it my all and I just hope I did enough to progress.
“Making it onto the televised show would be a great opportunity to raise attention to the incredible work of the Edinburgh Children’s Hospital Charity.
“If I do it, I’ll be thinking of the children and families they support every step of the way.”
And this isn’t the first unusual test that the Leith Walk councillor has set himself.
Over the course of the past few months, dubbed The Long Summer, he has completed an Ironman triathlon in the south of France, a 106 mile endurance cycle in the Trossachs and will soon take part in a 50 mile ultra marathon in Strathavern – all to raise funds for the Edinburgh Children’s Hospital Charity.
“This is the challenge of my life and I am doing it in order to help the children and young people who need it most.
“There is no group that deserves support more than sick children and their families and after visiting the hospital and learning more about the charity I was more convinced than ever that I’d made the right choice.
“I am competing in these three gruelling endurance events in the hope that I will be able to raise £5000 for this incredible cause.”
The charity works to provide support and comfort for families during treatment by creating a less intimidating and clinical hospital environment.
Amy Telford, community fundraiser for Edinburgh Children’s Hospital Charity said: “We exist to transform the lives of children in hospital, so they can be a child first and a patient second. Our work simply would not be possible without the support of people like Lewis.
“We’d like to wish Lewis lots of luck for his next challenge and would like to thank him for his fantastic effort and support.”
To help Cllr Ritchie reach his target, donations can be made through the website, www.lewisritchie.org.