A STATISTICIAN lost six stone in less than a year and will now run the half-marathon to raise money for three-year-old girl with cerebral palsy.

Marco Oliver, 24, from Christchurch, Newport, decided to lose weight after being asked to sit in a wider seat on an amusement ride while on holiday in America.

He started exercising for two hours everyday and at one point was eating just 1,000 calories a day, half the recommended daily allowance for an adult man.

Mr Oliver said: "I was doing at least two hours of exercise every night, running, gym classes, spinning, everything. But I soon found you actually need to eat when you’re doing that much exercise.

"Now it has all sort of evened out and I can eat what I want to an extent, because I’m still doing a lot of exercise."

All his hard work has paid off, and now Mr Oliver will run the Cardiff half-marathon in October for Olivia Robinson, a workmate’s daughter who has cerebral palsy.

He said: "I work with Olivia’s dad Daniel at the National Office for Statistics, so that’s how I heard about her. She’s only three and she has already been through a lot."

Olivia from Risca, attends Footsteps, a specialist school for children and young adults with neurological disorders.

At Footsteps, Olivia receives specialist one to one physiotherapy to help her learn how to crawl, walk and achieve their milestones other children take for granted.

However, Footsteps physiotherapy programmes are not available on the NHS, which is why Mr Oliver is hoping to raise £500 towards the £6,000 a year Footsteps fees.

He said: "It's not a lot, but I'm hoping people will give what they can. The programme has already made such a difference for Olivia, the money is really worth it."

To donate, visit www.justgiving.com/runningforolivia