Paralympian Derek Derenalagi is calling volunteers to step up to the challenge and climb the Alps in the British Heart Foundation’s (BHF) Beat the Peak event - without even leaving Watford.

Derek Derenalagi, who represented Great Britain in the discus at this year’s 2012 Olympic games, has joined forces with the nation’s heart charity to invite the people of Watford to take on the challenge of climbing the YMCA tower staircase multiple times until, effectively, the altitude of one of Europe’s highest peaks has been reached.

Participants can choose whether to climb the equivalent of Mont Blanc at 4,810 metres high, Eiger at 3,970 metres or Sass Rigais at 3,025 metres, but with it being a challenge the BHF is encouraging people to get friends, family and colleagues together and work as a relay team to conquer the Watford’s YMCA tower staircase.

Derek is a former soldier who played his part in Afghanistan until a roadside bomb claimed both his legs in 2007. The Fiji born paralympian won the hearts of the nation during this year’s games and is now asking for the same support to help beat heart disease which claims so many Watford lives every year.

Derek said: "I have had an amazing year, the public’s support has been outstanding and I am reaching out to the Watford community to support this worthwhile charity.

"Beat the Peak provides a unique opportunity to take part in an international challenge within your very own Heart Town.

"The towering heights of these mountains will not only work your own heart and fitness, but will help raise funds to keep other hearts beating too. Thank you to all who choose to take part and support the BHF’s vital research into Heart Failure."

As a BHF Heart Town, Watford is one of six locations chosen by the nation’s heart charity to host a Beat the Peak event to raise money for its Mending Broken Hearts Appeal - an ambitious project which aims to raise vital funds to find a cure for heart failure, bringing hope to millions worldwide.

Georgia McCormack, Fundraising Volunteer Manager for the BHF in Watford, said: "Over 750,000 people in the UK are currently living with heart failure. If the people of Watford get together, sign up to Beat the Peak and raise money through sponsorship they’ll help us to give hope to people living with heart failure.

"As a BHF Heart Town the local community has been fantastic at supporting our fundraising activity, so I hope they get behind this event and put their hearts and ‘soles’ into helping us beat heart disease, for good."

The BHF is hosting a series of Beat the Peak events throughout the country in a bid to help raise £150,000 for Mending Broken Hearts. Registration is now open with a £15 fee and participants are asked to pledge a minimum £75 sponsorship.

To register or to find out more visit