He swapped the pressure of the Emergency Department for a TV assault course but Walsall’s “Dr Ninja” kept his cool!
Andrew Foot, Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust’s Emergency Medicine Consultant, is a recent star of the ITV show Ninja Warrior UK.
The 38-year-old has worked at the Trust for more than two years. His job entails running the Emergency Department as one of the Consultants in charge and he is the simulation lead for the department.
Ninja Warrior UK is a British physical obstacle assault course game show, created for ITV. The show is based upon the format of the Japanese game show Sasuke, created by Ushio Higuchi.
The show focuses on contestants tackling a variety of obstacles along an assault course and achieving a fast time or going the furthest to qualify for the semi-finals and the finals. If a competitor completes the final obstacle in under 45 seconds, they will be declared winner of the contest and crowned “Ninja Warrior UK”.
The father-of-one said: “My son Ewan has watched Ninja Warrior and got me into watching it as well. It progressed to going to the local Ninja Warrior parks (there is one in Walsall) as well as organising a few father/son ninja training days.
“When it was announced the show was returning, I thought I had better apply. I had to send in a video application and then attend a series of auditions where they made you do some fitness tests in a cross fit gym as well as chat to you on camera.
“When I got the news I had been successful I was very excited as I could prove to Ewan I am a real ninja warrior!”
Andrew, who lives in Shropshire, added: “Ninja Warrior involves lots of jumping and swinging off things and it is really high pressure, as if you fall even once, you are out. So you must prepare beforehand.
“I do a lot of body weight exercises and climbing on a weekly basis, although you need more than this to do well on Ninja Warrior. You need to practice a lot of grip strength and finger exercises (a finger board helps) as well as going to dedicated ninja gyms to practice on the bigger ninja obstacles and jumps. It was one of my goals this year to learn the salmon ladder and the peg board.
“The new race format this year meant not only did you have to beat the course but also an opponent running beside you on the course. You have to try to go fast — but too fast and you may fall off — so it’s stressful!
“I’d say my favourite part was having all my friends and Ewan in the audience while I competed and the most difficult part was when I fell off as it’s over very quickly! Balance is my weakest area, for sure.”
Andrew’s family said they were surprised at how well he did while his colleagues said they loved the fact he ran the course in his scrubs as “Dr Ninja.”
For his next challenge he will be entering a 100-mile, four-day, ice skating race in Mongolia called the Mongal 100 where he has six months to learn to ice skate!
If you would like to see how well Andrew did you can watch him on ITV player – ‘Ninja Warrior Race from Glory episode 2’ (he is at 12 minutes).