The following article was written by "Norwich Evening News" after the brilliant launch of Exercise4Life in Great Yarmouth on 03 September:
People in Great Yarmouth have been donning their sweat bands today for the launch of the UK wide Exercise4Life campaign at the Marina Centre and beach.
Zumba on Yarmouth beach. Thousands of people around the UK have been signing up to the campaign in a bid to get fitter and have fun with family and friends.
Organised by the WRIGHT Foundation charity, Exercise4Life aims to offer an innovative rolling programme of monthly featured activities to get the whole country moving. Charity chairman Murdo Wallace explained why Great Yarmouth was the perfect place to kick start today's launch. "Great Yarmouth in the last year has been so supportive with everything we are doing," He said. "I would just like to keep up the great Great Yarmouth and Waveney connection."
He added: "It is proven beyond any doubt that exercise is medicine. Firstly, it is one of the best ways of building resistance to illness and, secondly, it has proved an excellent aid to recovery for many ailments." Today's activities have included cycling, running, walking, zumba dancing, swimming, Nordic walking and hula hooping. These activities will continue to be featured monthly throughout the campaign at varies locations around the country. Pavitri Wypior, has been a hula hoop instructor for the last seven years and has been helping out at the event. She said: "It started out just as a hobby but now it's my full-time job. It is fun and it is fairly easy to do. It is also something the whole family can do. Most people use it to work their abdominal muscles. Anyone who does this will be laughing and giggling."
Avid hula hoopers, Nicola Browne, 35, and her 8-year-old daughter Nikita, of Gorleston, said they had a great time and hoped that many people would get involved with the campaign. Mrs Browne said: "We think hula hoops are fabulous and such a great way to have fun while exercising. More families should be exercising together as it's not only great for the kids but also a good way to bond and stay close." Nikita added: "Hula hoops are fun. I wish I could hula all day, every day."
Last year around 10,000 people took part in a month-long Exercise4Life pilot being run throughout 500 leisure centres in the UK. The success of that pilot has prompted the ongoing exercise campaign which hopes to involve around 2,000 centres nationwide. WRIGHT Foundation project manager Louise Bebbington explained why the campaign is the ideal opportunity for the community to get active.
"A huge percentage of people never set foot in a gym as they don't feel comfortable," she said. "It's all about providing the motivation for people to take up exercise. "Everyone involved in Exercise4Life is a winner."
The Mayor of Great Yarmouth Barry Coleman officially launched the campaign at midday.
The WRIGHT Foundation charity works in partnership with NHS Great Yarmouth and Waveney and is backed by local authorities and leisure centres. The WRIGHT Foundation also supports the government's Change4Life initiative.