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RINKA, the innovative system of children’s fitness, is to feature on RTE’s hit TV show NATIONWIDE.

RINKA is all about teaching kids that fitness is fun. The emphasis is on inclusion and participation. The kids don’t need to excel, they just need to take part, burn energy and have fun.

Founder Sarah Gillespie, former competitive Irish dancer and drama teacher, has developed the new style of non-competitive fitness activity as “an alternative to mainstream sport” which embraces kids of all abilities.

The enterprising 32 years-old Donegal Town woman has firmly established the RINKA brand in the county and has now franchised her business model across Ireland with branches in Sligo, Monaghan, Roscommon, Westmeath, Mayo, Clare, Limerick, Cork with more locations starting after Easter.

The RTE NATIONWIDE interview looks at Sarah’s interesting journey and the road that led her to creating RINKA. The clip shows classes in actions, interviews with parents and other instructors.

“I’m really excited about the show as it’s a great opportunity to showcase RINKA’s huge health and developmental benefits for children of all ages,” she said.

“I was delighted that RINKA was selected for Nationwide as we have the potential to make a big difference in the lives of so many children. We are currently reaching over 2,000 kids a week with our classes but there are so many more kids out there that need some positive guidance to get involved with fitness. I’m hoping that the Nationwide appearance will help us spread our message that fitness is fun’ she added

RINKA offers three fun-filled fitness and child development programmes – RINKA Dance, Drama Fit and Bounce. RINKA Dance introduces children to the fundamentals of fitness through the medium of Irish Dance but without the pressure to compete; Drama Fit has all the creative elements of a drama class combined with the high-energy dynamics of a workout; and Bounce is a high energy, multi-activity class for children aged from 18 months to teens that introduces them to the fundamentals of fitness.

Sarah explained: “RINKA is an opportunity for children, regardless of skill or background, to burn some energy, have some fun, learn new skills and make new friends. Most importantly it is designed to help boost children’s confidence and encourage them to believe that they can take part in whatever activity they choose.

“Not every child wants to play football or become an athlete. There are many artistic children out there who need help to find their little niche to burn energy. With RINKA, kids gain fitness through drama and through dance and through Art – they’re working out without even knowing it and it’s always inclusive so no one ever feels left out.”

New instructors are currently being sought to help bring the RINKA experience of Donegal to children all over Ireland.

“We’re looking for new instructors everywhere from Belfast to Cork and Dublin to Galway. No experience is required to become a RINKA franchisee as all of the essential skills are provided in our training programmes -we just ask that you love working with kids and really want to inspire the next generation.

“We look after all the boring bits so the franchisee’s only job is to turn up and enjoy hours of fun with kids,” Sarah added.

In developing RINKA, Sarah has drawn on all of her previous experience in drama, Irish dance, fitness and business. She competed as an Irish Dancer to World Championship level and has danced and taught kids across the globe. She trained as sports therapist and personal trainer; ran her own successful children’s drama academy and achieved a first class degree in Business Management from NUI Maynooth.

Tune in Monday 12th March at 7pm RTE1