Feb 16 2012

Tower Hamlets kids go for gold in Olympic swimming session


Children in Tower Hamlets learned some new strokes earlier today thanks to a unique Olympic themed swimming session with Olympian and Commonwealth gold medallist swimmer Adam Whitehead. The special swimming event took place at Mile End Leisure Centre courtesy of GLL.

During the session around 20 families who are currently attending one of the fun 10-week healthy lifestyle programmes (MEND, BEST or Activ8) listened to Adam’s experience as an Olympian and some lucky kids got to try his Commonwealth Games gold medal. Then Adam coached the kids on how to improve their strength in the water and they all had fun playing water-based games inspired by the Olympian.

Over a quarter of children leaving primary school in Tower Hamlets are obese - this is the second highest prevalence in London and the fourth highest in the country. The swimming session is part of the Building Powerful Communities partnership between Public Health Tower Hamlets, Barts and the London NHS Trust, the London Borough of Tower Hamlets, Bupa and MEND aims to reverse this worrying trend. The partnership will empower children and adults living in the borough to lead healthier lifestyles and become more active.

MEND’s programmes will help about 500 children and their families in Tower Hamlets to become fitter, healthier and happier by March 2013. These fun healthy lifestyle programmes are just one of the initiatives run by Barts and the London’s Weight Management Service for Children and supported by Bupa volunteers.

On the healthy lifestyle programmes, families learn about nutrition and how to maintain a balanced diet. This is followed by fun games and activities to get the children moving while their parents talk about health in a supportive environment.

Adam Whitehead, who is supporting MEND as an athlete mentor through the Dame Kelly Holmes Legacy Trust says: “Today’s swimming session was a great opportunity to meet the families in Tower Hamlets and witness some of the great work they are doing in turning their lifestyle habits around. The kids seemed to have a great time and learnt new ways to have fun in the water. I hope that many other families will have the same chance to benefit from MEND and the Building Powerful Communities partnership in Tower Hamlets.”


Notes to editor

For media enquiries or to speak with a case study family, please contact Claire Nevill on 020 7231 7225 or claire.nevill@mendcentral.org  For out-of-hours enquiries please call 07872 506996.


About Building Powerful Communities

  • Building Powerful Communities is a partnership between Public Health Tower Hamlets, Barts and the London NHS Trust, the London Borough of Tower Hamlets, Bupa and MEND to empower children and adults in Tower Hamlets to eat more healthily and be more active.


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