Time to put a spring in your step

SPRING Into Summer 2007 is your chance to get fit and have fun, by trying new sports.This month 12 lucky Evening Star readers will embark on our annual programme to help change their lives for the better.

By Tracey Sparling

SPRING Into Summer 2007 is your chance to get fit and have fun, by trying new sports.

This month 12 lucky Evening Star readers will embark on our annual programme to help change their lives for the better. Features editor TRACEY SPARLING invites you to apply.

THERE was a sense of daring and then achievement, as week after week brought new challenges to try in The Evening Star's Spring Into Summer programme.

In 2005 the highlights included zooming through the trees on zip wires, and daring to ride bikes without brakes on a cycle speedway track. In 2006 we faced a climbing wall on our second session, and pedalled miles further than many expected, all the way round Alton Water one summer's day.

Most participants lost weight and got fitter, and for others it was benefit enough to share the motivation, spurred on fellow participants who became friends.

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This year brings a fresh format for the fun fitness programme, which is for people who don't do much sport already.

There will be a with a host of new sports to try - and a new face in the form of our very own Mr Motivator. Matt the Motivator, otherwise known as Matt Goldrick a personal trainer from Ipswich is today helping design a ten-week programme which will challenge the Star squad from the last week of March, to May.

Matt, who runs Matt Goldrick Personal Training as a freelance based at Next Generation, plans to introduce a competitive element to the sessions.

He said: “It's good for people to try different things; not everyone likes the gym and its about finding something that they enjoy. Some people are intimidated by the gym and all those thin bodies they think will be there, so they should consider doing something else.

"If you can get your heart rate up it will help you not just to lose weight but also get your body to function better and help prevent heart disease and high blood pressure.

"In fact getting fitter helps all aspects of your life, from work to personal."

Events will be held once a week in the evenings and occasionally at weekends. They remain a secret until a sealed envelope is opened on the day, so it's always a surprise to find what skills you will be learning in which sport.

Our partner for the programme is Ipswich Borough Council, which will host events at sports centres across Ipswich. Councillor Judy Terry said: “This year's programme is going to include some different activities designed to get the participants active and enjoying sport. If getting fit this year is important to you, this programme which includes sessions at Ipswich Borough Council sports centres, under the guidance of expert instructors, could be just what you need and the opportunity to have some fun, as well as to meet other people.”

Features editor Tracey Sparling, reporters Rebecca Lefort and Paul Geater will be taking part and bringing you weekly news of how the squad gets on. Our reports will also feature tips on fitness, and details on how you can try the sports.

All events in Spring into Summer will be free of charge to the 12 participants.

If you saw the fun last year and would have loved to take part - now's your chance. 12 men and women will be chosen from a range of ages and backgrounds - we want just as many men as women so don't be shy.

To enter, complete this form and send in to arrive by March 14. If you are chosen, you will be notified immediately. All we ask is that participants do their best to attend all sessions, because ongoing team spirit is what makes this programme special.

Weblink: www.mgpt.co.uk


See how Spring Into Summer reporter Rebecca Lefort fares, when she is put through a training session by Matt, in your Evening Star next week.

“I had a good laugh along the way, tried a few new activities. It helped me lose weight, get fit and make friends. I can also see my feet more!”

“I would never have tried so many new things on my own.”

“I want to set an example to my children and I have definitely increased my activity level over the weeks - just in time for the summer holidays.”

“I found two sports that I really like and will keep up, met new people and rediscovered a friendship from primary school - great!”

“I went into this not knowing what to expect. It's been an eye opener, extremely funny, a personal journey that I'm glad I took.”