Project to get children fighting fit
A PROJECT designed to help reduce childhood obesity levels is being extended throughout Waveney to appeal to more youngsters.The Mend programme is a chance for children aged between seven and 13, above their ideal weight, to meet others in a similar position and work together to learn ways to combat it.
A PROJECT designed to help reduce childhood obesity levels is being extended throughout Waveney to appeal to more youngsters.
The Mend programme is a chance for children aged between seven and 13, above their ideal weight, to meet others in a similar position and work together to learn ways to combat it.
So far, the 10-week courses have run every Tuesday and Thursday at Kirkley High School, in Lowestoft, as well as in Great Yarmouth, but now they will also include sessions at Beccles Public Hall and Cliff Park High School, in Gorleston.
To coincide with the extra two programmes, new programme co-ordinator Steph Gittens will take the reigns and is looking for youngsters to join.
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And for one child, Marianna English, who has already completed the course, it has helped to change her life.
The 10-year-old, who lives in Notley Road, Lowestoft, was constantly labelled as “fat” in cruel jibes by classmates, but since she took part in Mend, she has not only seen her waist shrink by 8cm, she has seen her confidence and self esteem shoot up.
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Mum Isabel said taking part with Marianna had helped her loose weight too.
“We were referred to Mend through our doctor. We had gone there because Marianna was getting really upset about people calling her fat, we thought anything was worth a try and it certainly was the best thing we have ever done.
“She started off at around eight-and-a-half stone, she lost two-and-a-half pounds during the course and 4cms off her waist. Since then she has been continuing with the instructions given to her and she's lost about half a stone and another 4cm off her waist.
“The first time we went she got so scared and wouldn't let go of me, but by the second week because she had been listening so much, so knew all the answers to the questions, it really boosted her confidence.”
During her time on the Mend programme, Marianna was encouraged to change her eating habits and now asks Isabel for apples and sticks of celery when they go to the supermarket, instead of crisps and chocolate.
“She's learnt that sometimes when she thinks she's hungry, that actually, she's not and now she's doing football, trampolining and riding her bike.”
The courses are due to begin at the end of September every Tuesday and Thursday at 5pm and 7pm.
Mend stands for Mind, Exercise, Nutrition and Do It with each session involving each of the elements in order to help children become healthier and fitter, treating it effectively and providing long term results.
The programme includes weekly games and activities, interactive discussion, practical demonstrations, theory, label reading, portion sizes and tips about healthy foods.
Anyone interested in joining Mend can telephone 01493 334711.