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kids’ fi tness

DENISE PAGE, executive director, YMCAfi t A boom in dance

of talent shows such as Britain’ D I

ance is most defi nitely a growing trend in children’s fi tness, fuelled both by the continuing popularity s Got T

Kids can now be active without doing sport, which can be elitist fi nancially and in terms of skills. Dance is accessible. The popularity of groups such as Diversity is helping to remove some of the barriers of prejudice that surrounded

GLEN JONES, MD, Cyber Coach Inclusive equipment

nclusivity has been a buzzword across the sector recently, with IFI accreditation becoming increasingly

important for equipment manufacturers and operators alike. We believe the next generation of kids’ fi tness equipment will

still focus on fun, but with an added emphasis on inclusivity. With this in mind, Cyber Coach launched a brand new special needs dance mat at Leisure Industry Week last month.

These new dance mats are designed to sit on the lap of a wheelchair user and can be activated by the lightest of touches; the intelligent buttons

can detect the presence of a foot or hand, as well as the speed of movement, and alter the game appropriately. No one product will ever be able to be used by all, but we

can strive to make a product as inclusive as possible. Over the next 12 months, we intend to produce a number of different dance mats and aids to include as many people as possible.

ANDREW BAGNALL, director, Revolutionary Products Adrenalin sports

exercises – something that’s been a huge growth area recently – towards ‘risk-taking outdoor activities’ that

A S 40

encourage more physical and mental dexterity. Especially in inner city areas, communities are now looking at

bringing the outdoors to the indoors in an attempt to stimulate kids’ desire to experience the thrills of the wider, wilder world,

PHIL PICKERSGILL, MD, Innovative Leisure Growth in climbing

omething we’ve noticed in particular is schools using our climbing products alongside more traditional

sporting activities, to encourage more kids to be physically active; some children won’t take part in the usual sports on

offer but will have a go on a climbing wall. We’re also catering to the PlayStation generation, and kids who

are into extreme sports – climbing products tick that box too. Climbing walls offer a challenging, physical activity in perfect

key trend in the area of kids’ exercise is the move away from electronic game-type


and by the urgent need to get kids active in response to the growing threat of obesity.

dance, which in turn has contributed to its growth as a trend

in fi tness. Girls are growing in

confi dence, boys aren’t limited to football, young people can invent their own styles and teach each other, and peer pressure is no longer a barrier as dance is now acceptable. The YMCAfi t Kids’ Fitness Street Dance instructor course is popular precisely because of the growing trend of dance within children’s fi tness. Now a REPs Level 2-accredited qualifi cation, we’ve frozen the cost of the course to encourage more fi tness professionals to get involved in this popular, accessible activity.

encouraging travel and learning about other cultures. Exercises such as climbing are now being encouraged, for example, as an activity that not only underpins fundamental physical and mental skills but that can also fi t within the school curriculum – geography lessons, for example, can be linked with PE, with kids selecting real mountains and climbing the equivalent height over the space of a school term. Our product, the Freedom Climber, is a rotating climbing

wall that enables clubs, leisure facilities and schools alike to provide climbing as a great functional exercise for kids, without the space and safety issues which can be prohibitive with other climbing systems.

safety and can be used by kids as young as fi ve years old. Our motorised wall, The Rock, is one of the products being used in schools. It offers a range of progressive, pre-programmed climbs, but also a manual programme that means it can be targeted to the needs of individual students. It also provides a well- balanced workout of cardio and strength. Increasingly more schools, including

specialist schools, as well as youth groups such as the scouts, are recognising the benefi ts of climbing products.

Read Health Club Management online at october 2010 © cybertrek 2010

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