A DARLINGTON firefighter is preparing to represent Great Britain in the World Firefighter Games.

In September, Alan Nixon, 30, of White Watch, will compete in a number of cycling categories at the games in Sheffield.

"I've been in the service for five years and competed in a number of events including the World Firefighter Mountain Bike Championship," he said.

"But this is the first time I have entered the world games. They are just for firefighters and you can compete in anything from football to rowing and cycling.

"I will be mountain biking, road racing and competing in a time trial which is a ten-mile race to the clock."

Mr Nixon started cycling with his father and brother at 13. He began racing at 16 and was an elite rider for seven years.

He is training five or six times a week in preparation. He said: "The training is pretty tough. I do a lot of stamina based work about three or four times a week, hill climbs and shorter interval rides.

"I'm competing in the 30-40 age category, so hopefully I will be able to get a medal as I will be one of the youngest in that group."

Mr Nixon is supported by the fire service's sports and social club, and of course, by his wife, Emma.