A Salford gym owner has organised a 24-hour cross fit event to help raise money towards homelessness.

Paul O’Dee, owner of Gorilla Warfare, in Walkden, has entered a 24-hour cross fit competition in aid of homelessness in and around Greater Manchester.

The event will be running from 12 noon on the 11th December and ending at 12 noon the following day.

After hosting annual charity events over the past 10 years, Paul decided to enter his gym in the worldwide CrossFit competition.

“We’ve worked for the homeless every year so why change it now. Whatever money we actually collect will go back to the homeless, we aren’t donating it to a charity.

“We will use it to buy and make food and toiletries and essentials and then over the winter period we will go out and distribute it ourselves with some other local homeless groups that help the homeless.”

24-hour cross fit
Permission to use by Paul O’Dee

The competition will consist of six participants per team, who will complete as many reps in a set plan of exercises during the 24 hour period.

Competition organisers 24AMRAP, have set out the rules for the event. Over the course of the day, teams will have to complete 500 reps per hour to stay in the competition.

Paul explained how his team came together in preparation for the event:

“We’ve got 18 participants, consisting of two of our coaches and the rest of the 16 participants are all of our gym members.

“They are of all different abilities, we’ve got some elite athletes and we’ve got some very scaled athletes who haven’t been coming long. It’s a massive challenge for everybody taking part.”

24-hour cross fit
Permission to use by Paul O’Dee

Paul and his team at Gorilla Warfare have been dedicated to helping homeless people for over 10 years. Their time and effort see that people living on the streets can survive the winter months.

“We’re a massive centre but we’ve been helping the homeless as Gorilla Warfare for the past 10 years, we’ve done Christmas collections for clothes, toiletries and all that kind of stuff” Paul explained.

To ensure all the money they raise goes towards their cause, Paul and a group of volunteers from the gym and other local charities will personally deliver home cooked food and essentials to people on the streets.

“We don’t donate it to a set charity that we don’t know much about and we don’t know much about the economics of how they run their charities. We prefer to do it ourselves so we know its going direct to the cause,” he said.

Between 2018/19 to October 2020 homelessness in Salford rose by 13.4%, with over 4,000 households being presented as homeless.

In England, the homeless crisis has gotten worse since the outbreak of Covid-19. Almost 300,000 people were judged or threatened with homelessness in 2019/20, throughout England.



Alongside their annual charity event, Gorilla Warfare have been busy with an alternative education plan for children.

Paul O’Dee set up a practical physical education programme for children aged between 12 and 16 to get involved with. They host regular competitions, keeping the children occupied and off the streets.

To follow their progress you can find Paul and the team on their Facebook page, or to donate to the fund you can use their GoFundMe page.

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