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Personal Trainer Adapts Leading Kids Fitness Programme To Support Children On Hospital Wards

Born to Move

A Personal Trainer from Tonbridge in Kent is on a mission this summer to bring fitness and fun to young children thanks to the unique BORN TO MOVE™ programme by Les Mills which helps inspire young people to fall in love with physical activity.

Mikey Stevens, who works as the Health & Fitness Manager at tmactive’s Larkfield Leisure Centre, recognised a very real need to do more to support the youngsters at their facilities with a programme that was both entertaining and stimulating, and thanks to BORN TO MOVE, their new kids offering is set to feed their young appetites for action, movement and play.

The BORN TO MOVE programme was introduced to tmactive just before the national lockdown was enforced, and so Mikey came up with a novel way to adapt the programme to ensure that those children who needed it most were able to benefit.

“At tmactive we were raring to go with BORN TO MOVE and our kids were so excited about it,” said Mikey. “When it became apparent that it just wasn’t going to be possible to deliver the in-person classes, we knew that there were elements of the programme that were just too good to miss out on. And so, inspired by my wife’s work at Maidstone & Tunbridge Wells Trust & GOSH we rolled out a virtual offering of BORN TO MOVE to Great Ormond Street Hospital and the results have been completely heart-warming.”

The children of Great Ormond Street were given the BORN TO MOVE programme free of charge, and it saw Mikey develop a virtual fun-filled adventure video that is now played out on the hospital wards’ screens. Children are then able to follow the routine as part of a class. The video was initially trialled in the GOSH cancer unit, and due to its success, has since been used in all departments of the hospital.

“The value that the programme has bought both myself as a trainer, and these children is immeasurable. Life has been unimaginably tough for these wonderful youngsters during Covid-19, and we just wanted to support them through this time,” said Mikey. “Obviously I would have loved to have been able to deliver these sessions in person, but at a time when visitations are restricted, a virtual offering and a bespoke video was the next best thing.

All children should have a means by which to laugh, and play, and be silly, regardless as to their overall health and I felt compelled to help make this happen.

“Sadly, some children in hospital don’t have the option to go out for a walk or even to move around whilst they receive treatment.

The flexibility of the BORN TO MOVE programme means that everyone can achieve something during a session. With the option of mindfulness and relaxation tracks as well, our hope is that for a short time at least, we can provide some positive therapy for children. All children respond so well to this programme, we can’t wait to bring it to life in our tmactive centres.”

Martin Guyton, Chief Executive of Tonbridge & Malling Leisure Trust added: “Our vision at Tonbridge & Malling Leisure Trust is to see more people be more active, more often, and one of our core values is to be innovative in our approach – so Les Mills is a fantastic partner for us. We are thrilled to run their regular classes, and BORN TO MOVE is a very welcome addition for our younger members who are all excited by the prospect of taking part in these wonderful classes. The interaction, imagination, excitement, learning and fun that goes into each session is amazing.”

Justine Williams, Global Business Development Manager at Les Mills said: “Born to Move has enjoyed tremendous success across education, and we are thrilled that we are now able to branch out into other sectors. It was a pleasure to support Mikey and tmactive on this project, and the results and the feedback have been exceptional.”

tmactive will be running their BORN TO MOVE classes across their facilities once they reopen their doors.

Les Mills is looking to further the reach of the BORN TO MOVE programme with outreach to additional children’s care units and to schools to encourage activity and fitness fun. For more information on the Les Mills and GOSH collaboration, please visit: https://www.gosh.nhs.uk/news/les-mills-born-move-trip-australia

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