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Barnsley Premier Leisure tackles rising obesity

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Barnsley Premier Leisure, which operates 10 sports and facilities, is fighting back after the borough was rated eighth on a list of places in England with the highest obesity risk.

A recent report by Dr Paul Redgrave, the borough’s public health director, has also found that obesity costs Barnsley’s economy £16m a year.

The sports trust and the town’s Primary Care Trust are particularly targeting young people in the battle against obesity.

James Starbuck, chief executive of Barnsley Premier Leisure, said: “We strive to organise as many different packages and activities at all of our venues as possible. We want to create a healthy community for everyone in Barnsley.

“A balanced diet and regular exercise are key to staying healthy. We’ve also developed a variety of services to offer all members of the community a range of cost effective individual packages to help change lifestyle habits and increase quality of life.

“The research may identify Barnsley as a town with the potential for high levels of obesity but hopefully we can work with the local community to prove the researchers wrong.”

He added: “There is often a difference in exercise preferences between age groups and we’ve addressed this by offering classes that may appeal to different generations,” said Starbuck.

“Our Evergreens session is a day designed specifically for the over 50s and includes a wide variety of activities including swimming, aerobics, line dancing, yoga and badminton among others.

“Most of our classes are suitable for all abilities and activities such as swimming can be taken at a pace to suit the individual. Swimming is a great way of easing back into a fitness regime. It works almost every major muscle group in the body and is low impact.” Details: www.bpl.org.uk

Photograph: An aerobics session at the Barnsley Metrodome

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Barnsley Premier Leisure, which operates 10 sports and facilities, is fighting back after the borough was rated eighth on a list of places in England with the highest obesity risk.
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