Mums take on six month fitness regime challenge

Coach Sean Hargan puts some of the mothers through their paces at Templemore Sports Complex on Friday morning. From left, Suzanne Duddy, Audrey Doherty and Christina Gillespie. 1402JM02

Coach Sean Hargan puts some of the mothers through their paces at Templemore Sports Complex on Friday morning. From left, Suzanne Duddy, Audrey Doherty and Christina Gillespie. 1402JM02

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Forty local mothers have signed up to an exciting new health and fitness regime run by Derry City Council.

As well as taking part in regular supervised gym workouts, participants in the six month programme are set to benefit from a range of key lifestyle tips from health and fitness experts.

The group pictured at Templemore Sports Complex with, at front from left, coaches, Daniel Quigley, John Paul Glenn, Thomas McCallion, Sean Hargan and Paul Carlin. 1402JM01

The group pictured at Templemore Sports Complex with, at front from left, coaches, Daniel Quigley, John Paul Glenn, Thomas McCallion, Sean Hargan and Paul Carlin. 1402JM01

A key aim of the drive is to promote healthy living not only among the 40 participants but to ensure that they in turn are urged to encourage their family members to adopt healthier lifestyles.

As part of the health drive, which is based at Templemore Sports Complex, the participating mothers are to undertake three supervised exercise sessions each week. But there’s much more to the project than workouts alone. The mothers will also benefit from a weekly healthy lifestyle session, which will see health practitioners such as GPs, dentists, physiotherapists and family support workers passing on valuable skills and knowledge on general family health. The group will also take part in weekly weight management and cookery sessions as well as undergoing regular health and fitness assessments to monitor the progress of individuals.

The Parents Together programme has been developed by the council’s Sports Development team with the support of The Public Health Agency (PHA) to provide opportunities to improve and health and wellbeing.

The new project has a particular aim to improve nutrition and to increase physical activity among underrepresented and vulnerable groups, explains project leader Thomas McCallion, Community Health Manager for Derry City Council. “The Parents Together Programme is one of many projects being rolled out by Derry City Council with the help of the PHA that will see many of our most vulnerable groups being engaged in regular health activities. This project is unique in that it will work exclusively with 40 mothers and in doing so give them the opportunity to not only get healthier and fitter but allow them to learn new skills and knowledge that will underpin the health of their families as a whole.”

Melissa Fox keeps the pace with coach Thomas McCallion at Templemore Sports Complex on Friday morning. 1402JM03

Melissa Fox keeps the pace with coach Thomas McCallion at Templemore Sports Complex on Friday morning. 1402JM03

At the heart of the project is the belief that engaging the mothers directly in the health and fitness regime will have a direct impact on improving the lifestyles of their children and wider family circle.

Mr McCallion adds: “The PHA Healthy Towns programme is to be commended for taking such as positive step in developing this initiative and it is hoped that this will be the first of many such programmes.”

Anyone wishing to learn more about the Parents Together programme can call Derry City Council on 02871 365151.