South Shields former teacher’s free keep fit lessons offer to help beat child obesity

editorial image

A former school teacher is offerring free fitness training to help educate youngsters on healthy living in a bid to combat the obesity crisis hitting South Tyneside.

Eilish Tiffin left her full-time primary school role last August to concentrate on providing opportunities for youngsters - and their families - to boost their overall fitness and lifestyles.

Now, the 37-year-old is taking her passion one step further by offering primary schools across the borough the chance to bring in their pupils - for free - to learn more about exercise and healthy eating.

The 90-minute session, which will take place at Black Sheep Academy on the Bede Industrial Estate, will include fitness training, with the aid of equipment and advice on food groups.

Eilish, who runs the sessions with the support of sister-in-law Emily Tiffin, said: “During the day the gym is empty, so we were looking at ways to maximise its use.

“With obesity in children being so high in South Tyneside, we thought we could bring primary school children in and teach them about being healthy.

I have had lots of good feedback. It’s just about getting the message out there now to other schools

Eilish Tiffin

“About 10 primary school classes have already been in and the children have all enjoyed it.”

Last year, we reported how South Tyneside has one of the highest levels of obesity among primary school children in England. Figures from the National Child Measurement Programme showed almost one in four Year 6 children in the borough in 2017-18 were classed as obese. Of those 5.4% were severely obese.

Additionally, 14% of Year 6 children were classed as overweight. That means 39% of South Tyneside’s youngsters are unhealthily overweight when they finish primary school.

Obesity can lead to heart problems and type 2 diabetes later in life, as well as psychological issues such as low self-esteem and depression.

The mum-of-three, already runs after-school fitness clubs for young people as well as a weekly class for adults to train with their children.

She added: “I have three small children and there are a lack of opportunities in South Tyneside to do this kind of thing.

“I wanted to keep my hand in, in teaching as well as help children and encourage them to take up some form of exercise.

“I have had lots of good feedback. It’s just about getting the message out there now to other schools.”

Any schools interested in taking up the offer, call Eilish on 07948 834 126.