On Monday, I was so lucky to spend the day with our Athone instructor, Sandra, delivering our fabulous RINKA BUDDY BENCHES to four of the local schools and what a heart-warming day it was! We were welcomed with open arms into every school we visited, and were over-whelmed by their enthusiasm and time they’d out into preparing for our arrival.
On each visit to the schools we delivered a session on friendship, teaching the kids the RINKA Friendship Chant and doing some simple visualizations on how it feels to be lonely vs how it feels to have friends. The insight we gained from the children we talked to them was humbling. Our message on the day was simple – for hearts to be happy they need both fitness and friendship.
The Buddy Bench initiative is a simple idea that creates awareness in children of the needs of others and teaches them to be mindful of one another. Loneliness is one of the worst experiences a child can have at school and as RINKA bases its core values on inclusion and celebrating each child as an individual, we couldn’t wait to get involved and do our bit to make a child’s day a little brighter.
RINKA Ireland teamed up with the Sligo Men’s Shed Association to produce these fabulous RINKA Buddy Benches. Good health is attributed to many things but feeling worthy, that you can contribute to your community, that you are connected with other people and you have a way of keeping busy each day all contribute greatly to a healthy life. The Men’s Shed Associations offers this to men in local communities and we were thrilled to team up with them for this project.
Sandra and her team in Athlone did amazing work fundraising for these beautiful benches meaning they were able to deliver them to the schools free of charge. It is because of people like Sandra that RINKA is what it is today! Sandra’s passion on the day was evident – this goes way beyond the call of duty for her! She is dedicated to spreading happiness in the lives of kids and it filled me with pride to hear all the kids shout ‘Hi Sandra’ as we walked into the schools!! She is loved dearly by them all! She is leaving big imprints on these children’s lives.
Have a look through some of the lovely photos we got on the day and the videos of two of the schools performing their RINKA Friendship Chant!