KIDS at a city primary don’t have to go far to get fit – they have their own gym.
St Bede’s RC school in Washington is the first primary on Wearside to have a full 15-station gym installed.
Costing £13,000 the gym boasts a range of workout machines, including a chest press, air walker, climbing wall, cross trainer, leg press, surf board and push-up bars, the same as in an adult gym, only smaller.
Headteacher, Dominic Curran, said the gym is the school’s latest tool in promoting fitness and well being among the children.
Mr Curran said he was delighted to take the opportunity to have the new gym in the school grounds, which was paid for with the help of a Government sport grant.
He said: “We want our kids to be physically fit, flexible and strong.
“We all know that in these modern times children are not getting out to play as much as they used to, so this will help them exercise. It gives them a full body workout.
“Our caretaker has built a shelter over it and the beauty of that is the children can use it regardless of the weather.
“The kids absolutely love it, they can’t wait to go out there and use the gym.”
Fresh from his epic run across Australia, which raised £42,000 for the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation and the Children’s Foundation, Mark Allison, also known as Run Geordie Run, went along to the Hampshire Place school to officially open the new gym.
Staff have been trained how to use the equipment safely, which they are instilling into the children.
Mr Curran said hopefully it will encourage the children to continue using gyms into later life.
Mark Carter of Play Fitness Ltd, the South Tyneside company which installed the gym, said: “The gym works on children pushing and pulling their own body weight as well as giving them a cardio workout. The gym will help make the children more active, it is safe and lots of fun.
“They are proving to be very popular in the fight with child obesity.”