Last weekend, the 12th and 13th May, RINKA, was amongst a host of celebrity presenters at Irelands leading health and fitness event, WellFest. Alongside big names like Joe Wicks (aka the Body Coach), Davina McCall, The Happy Pear and Kathryn Thomas, I was there with my team of RINKA instructors presenting at the children’s tent.
The weekend saw over 8,000 visitors all keen to learn about different ways of keeping fit and healthy, listen to talks and take part in classes. WellFest gives you the opportunity to train, listen and learn from the top names in wellness but this year, the event also focused on kids which is where RINKA came in. With a designated WellKids tent, the RINKA team, led over 300 kids through their fun-filled programmes all weekend long.
What really struck me over the weekend was the amount of parents bringing kids along to the event, spending time together in the outdoors, having picnics and not a mobile phone in sight! It was really refreshing to meet so many parents taking active steps to protect their families health and well-being. The tides are turning and people are becoming aware of the necessity of proactive behaviors against childhood obesity
Our instructors were out of this world all weekend long – every child that came to the kids tent really received the RINKA treatment! Our focus is to teach kids that fitness is fun, that it’s all about taking part and giving it a go and that winning isn’t the sole focus. We make sure that kids feel a mile high by the time they leave a RINKA class – building them up to feel competent in sport is so important and that’s the message we spread all weekend long.’
I believe that if we are to have a serious impact on childhood obesity levels, then there needs to be an even greater emphasis on kids fitness at events like WellFest. We need to teach them that fitness isn’t the same thing as winning! 80% of kids have no interest in competition, but their health isn’t, and shouldn’t be, an optional past time! Kids need to have access to ‘just-for-fun’ activities that help them reach their daily requirements of activity.
With childhood obesity levels at an all time high, I praise the efforts made by WellFest to include children in the prestigious events. It’s all about creating awareness for parents and edcuators – we are very clear on what is expected of us as adults, but we take a far more lenient view when it comes to our children. We teach over 2,000 kids a week at RINKA and we are seeing the same thing across the country – kids just want to have fun! This is the message that we need to be shouting from the roof tops if things are ever going to change.