New scheme is helping girls get fit for life

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A new project is helping teenage girls learn more about exercise and become fit for life.

Faceless Arts has been working with year nine students from De Lacy Academy, Hemsworth Arts and Community Academy, Horbury Academy and Wakefield City Academy to help them find new ways of exercising and become Fit for Life Physical Activity Mentors.

The team from Faceless - a community engagement arts organisation - was commissioned to carry out the sessions after a recent survey of schoolgirls found that 75 per cent had at least one concern preventing them from doing physical activity to the recommended levels.

The 13-year-olds then held workshops with year six pupils at Vale Academy, Heath View Academy, West End Academy and Horbury St Peter’s and Clifton Primary.

Bev Adams, artistic director at Faceless Arts, said: “The girls have been so much fun to work with. They have taken their responsibilities as Fit for Life mentors with professionalism and enthusiasm.

“The mentors have enjoyed it so much, they would love to do more and it would be so good if we could roll this out to more schools. The year 6 pupils have also enjoyed and learned from the Fit for Life mentors’ workshop.”

The initiative - funded by Wakefield Council’s Creative Partners Funding Scheme - also gave the mentors a chance to try out a new physical activity, such as trampolining, rounders and MokyFit, a fun dance workout which uses easy to follow dance moves set to popular music. Around 30 mentors have been trained, in turn reaching 150 younger students.

Coun Les Shaw, cabinet member for culture, leisure and sport at the council said: “This is an innovative and creative approach to encourage these young people to find new ways to exercise and stay interested.”

“Physical activity needs to play an important part in all our lives and it is encouraging to see our schools taking part.”