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FIA plans to take Adopt a School scheme nationwide

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The Fitness Industry Association (FIA) officially launched its Adopt a School initiative today at Brixton Recreation Centre.

The launch follows a four month pilot scheme carried out earlier this year.

The scheme, part of the FIA’s On the move to 2012 campaign to improve the health and long-term wellbeing of the British nation, has been developed in consultation with the Youth Sport Trust and will link FIA member health clubs with local primary schools.

The pilot study took place at selected clubs between January and April this year and has been independently evaluated by the Institute of Youth Sport.

Adopt a School was designed as a way for health clubs to use down time for community use and promote their clubs to potential new users by encouraging children to recognise the benefits of exercise and realise it can be fun.

Some clubs have taken on new members as a result of the scheme and seen children taking part in holiday schemes and junior membership activities and many have also offered children in the pilot reduced rates to continue with the activities they have undertaken.

A survey of the children found the scheme had successfully changed their attitudes towards exercise, with 69 per cent feeling great about their ability to play different games and sports compared with 64 per cent before the pilot. None said they didn’t feel good about playing sport after the pilot, compared with 2 per cent before.

It also showed that levels of activity had risen, with more children getting 30 minutes or more exercise five or more times a week.

Operators involved in the scheme, which took place at clubs in Bristol, Barnsley, Birmingham, Sunderland, Watford, Brighton, Milton Keynes, Millbank and York, included LA Fitness, Next Generation, Leisure Connection, LivingWell, Esporta and David Lloyd Leisure.

The children at these clubs and centres participated in a range of activities including trampolining, self-defence, swimming, circuit training and mini-tennis.

Today's launch saw British 800m medallist, Kelly Holmes – ambassador for the scheme – leading the warm up for an hour's circus skills circuit class with 40 children from nearby Stockwell Park Primary School.

Over the next couple of months, the FIA will be encouraging its members to adopt a school in their local area. Details: www.fia.org.uk

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The Fitness Industry Association (FIA) officially launched its Adopt a School initiative today at Brixton Recreation Centre.
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