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Leicester Graduate launches first UK University Fitness Competition

Fit Factor Award
David Bissell Receiving Fit Factor Award

A Leicester University Graduate is making waves in the fitness world with his innovative business venture to celebrate student athletes. David Bissell, an Aerospace Engineering ex-student, co-founded the UK’s first fitness contest exclusively for students, with the ‘Mr University’ competition to be held on 16th March at Leicester Student’s Union.


David, 22, started his Muscle and Athletic Sports Society (MASS) whilst at University, after receiving support from the Student’s Union as well as funding from Enterprise Inc, who offer a £2,500 bursary to final year students and graduates hoping to further their business ideas.


He used promotion to expand to ten universities nationwide, as well as one in the USA. Speaking to Pukaar News, Mr Bissell said that the interest was unprecedented – “I had students at other universities contacting me, asking how to run a society like this because there was nothing else like it. It was my pleasure to help others, and I found it inspirational to see so many people wanting to get involved.”


His dedication to fitness really enhanced his university experience, and he claims that “It helped change my life.” After competing in his first show in the summer between his third and fourth year, he was addicted to the adrenaline rush of working out and competing. He said it even enriched his academic studies – “The weekend before my master’s exam I had a competition, and it helped to improve my focus because of the regimented cooking and structured regime – I did well in the competition and my exams!”


Eager to disprove the lazy student stereotype, he co-started ‘Mr University’ with Swansea students Max Kalu, 20, and Sean Lee Rice, 21, with the aim of creating a student fitness revolution. David has high hopes of spreading the competition to every university in the country, as well conquering America and India.


The competition features four categories – Men’s Physique and Women’s Physique will be marked on aspects such as muscle condition, proportion, and stage presence, whilst Men’s Athletic and Women’s Athletic will allow candidates to demonstrate their sporting abilities.


It will be judged by professionals in the fitness industry, WBFF (World Body Fitness and Fashion Inc.) model Jamie Alderton, Fit Factor co-creator Renee Watters, and celebrity fitness trainer Adam Gethin.  As well as their expert opinions, contestants will be interviewed about their lifestyle and dedication to training, with students having the opportunity to vote for their favourite.


There will be 30 competitors across the categories and an expected audience of around 500.


The event: University of Leicester’s Students’ Union, Sunday 16 March at 2.00pm.
Tickets £6 – from Point in the University of Leicester’s Students’ Union.


Entrants for ‘Mr University’ are being accepted until Friday 28 February.
To enter, email:

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