Globe-trotter 'blown away' by response

NEW TACTIC: Luke Burke working out with mentor Paul Nelson.
NEW TACTIC: Luke Burke working out with mentor Paul Nelson.

Support for Luke Burke's bid to get to the Globe in London has soared after the aspiring actor went public with his weight-loss fundraising plan.

Burke had been offered a place to represent Nelson through the Young Shakespeare Company at the Globe Theatre in July. However, he needed $8500 to take his place.

After months of fundraising, this week Burke told the Nelson Mail he needed a new tactic with the trip drawing near. He vowed to lose weight and asked people to sponsor him to do so.

Responding to the story, family, friends and strangers have dug deep and Burke has almost reached his goal of $8500 needed to get to the Globe.

He said he was "blown away" by the response.

"It's amazing, I will definitely be going now . . . I really felt like I was pushing it. I felt like nothing was happening, but now people are giving."

He has taken advice from health professionals and started a fitness routine with help from City Fitness and the ASB Aquatic Centre. Both offered personal trainer sessions.

Burke said while the sessions were challenging, he was dedicated to change.

He would be doing about 10 hours' intensive training a week, as well as lower intensity swimming and rugby league training.

He had revamped his diet by cutting out fats, sugars and breads and eats soup, smaller portions and more fruit and vegetables instead.

The group will leave New Zealand on July 4 and will take part in a variety of performance workshops, Q & A sessions, and a performance of Shakespearean scenes on the Globe's stage in front of the public.

Donations can also be made through:

The Nelson Mail