Bouncing back to the 70s to beat obesity

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SPACE hoppers and stilt walking are being introduced to a whole new generation in a bid to combat childhood obesity across the county.

Get Active Northumberland staff James Garrity and Liam Ford are bouncing back to the 1970s to inspire today’s youngsters to get fit.

The duo are part of a six-strong team who use National Child Measurement Programme data, collected by school nurses in pupils’ reception year and year six, to identify youngsters at risk of obesity.

The retro sessions can be enjoyed by both children and their parents for free.

Mr Ford said: “At first they look at the space hoppers and go ‘no chance’, but once they get on them, they really get into it.”

There are 15 programmes in total in Northumberland running across three different age groups. One involves parents of children five and under and has 67 parents and 151 children on it.

Fifty four families are involved in the seven to 13-year-old programme and there is one tailored for teenagers as well.

Mr Garrity said: “For some people, losing weight is a case of life or death. You are putting years back on their lives and that’s why Liam and I love our jobs.”

For more information about the courses available, telephone 01670 784186 or email