Posted: Tue 16th Feb 2021

Flintshire PE teacher’s February fitness challenge inspires students

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales
This article is old - Published: Tuesday, Feb 16th, 2021

A PE teacher at Ysgol Treffynnon who has been running virtual fitness sessions for staff during lockdown has launched a month-long initiative to encourage students to get outside and experience the benefits of exercise on their physical and mental wellbeing.

Lois Hough, who joined the school in October, came up with the fit for February challenge called ‘Walk A Mile A Day Every Day in February’ as something that everyone could take part in.  The idea is for students and staff to walk, cycle or run a mile a day and record a video while doing their exercise. 

The initiative is already proving highly popular with positive feedback from students and, to help motivate students to keep up the good work, Lois created a tick chart for them to log their activity for each day of the month.  The chart also highlights the advantages of regular exercise, from improving lung capacity and concentration to helping improve mood.

Lois said: “The initiative is designed to encourage both students and staff to create time for themselves, within a school or work day, to go outside and exercise.  We all know the benefits that exercising outdoors has on your mental health and I think this is especially important now during this pandemic. 

“There is fantastic support throughout the school for this idea and it’s great to see the encouragement and competitiveness from teachers.  Some members of staff are going the extra mile and are on double figures already!

Lois is continuing her fitness videos for staff and their families during lockdown.  She explains: “I personally found it hard to motivate myself to exercise at home, so we started the teams meets video sessions in the middle of January.  I generally create a HIIT session, explaining and demonstrating the exercises for everyone to complete together at the same time.  I think it has really helped us all and it’s great to see families enjoying exercising together.”

Mared Owen

Impressed with the ‘Walk A Day Through February’ initiative,, Welsh teacher, thought it would be a great idea to link up with the idea to promote the upcoming ‘Dydd Miwsig Cymru’, Welsh Language Music Day.

Mared said: “When Lois and the PE department launched their mile a day in February idea, I just thought it was fabulous! Being in lockdown isn’t easy for adults, let alone children and this is a brilliant way of getting them outside instead of sitting in front of screens all day long. I knew ‘Dydd Miwsig Cymru’ was approaching so I thought, what better way to walk a mile than with some headphones in and getting lost in the sound of music; a perfect way to promote an active lifestyle as well as Welsh language music! 

“Lois was kind enough to let me jump on her idea so we could work together, and it’s been incredible.  It gave me an excuse to get out of the house and it has given some of our students the same motivation.  It is so nice to see them doing it whilst listening to Welsh language music too!  

In preparation for Dydd Miwsig Cymru, Mared released videos introducing her challenge to students so that they knew what the expectations were, and she produced a video of her first mile accompanied by her dog, Gruff, to promote the fit for February initiative.  She also asked close friend, Ifan Pritchard, the lead vocalist of the Welsh band, Gwilym, to record a short clip introducing himself and talking about the impact Welsh language music has had on him to help give students more of an insight into Welsh culture.

With support from John Weir, headteacher, Lois and Mared created a competition to run alongside the challenge.  Participants have the chance to win an Amazon voucher for the best video showing the completion of their mile, including a song from Miss Owens’ playlist ‘Dydd Miwsig Cymru’.  They must also enter their duly completed chart as evidence of having done 28 miles in February.  

Miss Owen added: “I just think that what the students are achieving during this lockdown is brilliant and we’re all really grateful for their continuous hard work. The ‘Walk A Mile A Day Every Day in February’  initiative has been so beneficial for staff and students at Ysgol Treffynnon.  It has encouraged us to move away from the screens during the day and get out and appreciate our surrounding areas. Being new to this area, I have definitely enjoyed exploring the hidden beauty spots here, and I am sure those who have lived in the area for years have also found some new walking spots thanks to this challenge!”

 

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