Active Leeds charity fundraising effort- In aid of the special baby unit at Leeds Teaching Hospitals

Last Friday Active Leeds held a very special event at John Charles Centre for Sport, to kick start their fundraising efforts for the Special Baby Unit at Leeds Teaching Hospitals. Colleagues from across the service came together to take part in a variety of team challenges including both physical and mental tasks. Six teams competed to be crowned the first Active Leeds Team Challenge Champions. Challenges included Mastermind, Sumo Sprint, Leaky Pipe and Ski OLand.

Charity Fundraiser image One

A huge thanks goes to all of our colleagues and partners who assisted on the day including Breeze Leeds and Leeds Rhinos, Leeds United, John Lewis and the Yorkshire Cricket Foundation for their generous donations. Special thanks also goes to the team at the John Charles Centre.

Active Leeds Partnership Manager and organiser of the event, Neil Jones commented on the fundraiser:

“The event itself was hotly contested as you would expect from the most active department within Leeds City Council, but at the end of the day it was all about raising funds and awareness around Neonatal Care.”

Active Leeds Fundraiser Image 3

Fundraising is set to continue with events and activities planned to maximise charitable donations. the final challenge will be a 100 mile foot race along Hadrian’s Wall in May 2019. Competing will be Neil our partnership manager who has personally been touched by the care and attentions of the staff at the Neonatal Unit.

The events have a target of raising 20k before the end of May, providing the unit with a much needed incubator to enhance the already wonderful care they offer families with premature infants.

To Donate: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/neil-jones58

Charity fundraiser Image 2

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Active Leeds: Fit 4 Peak a Roaring Success at John Lewis Leeds

The Active Leeds team delivered a health and well-being experience for partners employed at the John Lewis head office (Victoria) in Leeds this week. Active Leeds have created a strong partnership with John Lewis and have been working hard to tackle inactivity and raise the overall health and well-being of partners within the business. Following on from the recent logistics driver’s intervention the “Fit4Peak” project looks to raise awareness around health and well-being. In store activities promoting being more physically active via engagement events, promoting the range and depth of opportunities that exist across the City. Programming a series of interventions within the store- Like Mindfulness Mondays, Store Yoga and Wake Up Shake up mornings.

On the day Active Leeds carried out a large number of health checks with partners and ran a series of motivational interviewing sessions. Partners at John Lewis were offered a 15 minute consultation with a health professional, allowing individuals the opportunity to talk in confidence with a professional Health Coach. Throughout the day a consultation was delivered around getting more physically active in Leeds.  Active Leeds asked “how we could work together to make Leeds the best City to be active in”.  Alongside the consultation a pledge scheme was launched running from now until Christmas which encourages partners to pledge and make a commitment to become more active.

John Lewis Image

Additionally on the day the team engaged John Lewis partners in a range of activities including Boxing, Indoor Tennis and PING. Information regarding projects such as Leeds Girls Can, Go Tri (our Triathlon project), and details about local swim and gym opportunities were hugely popular. A number of John Lewis partners took the opportunity to activate a free 7 day pass and start their journey immediately.

Sam Blevins (John Lewis Clinical Lead) commented: “We have worked in partnership with Active Leeds for over a year now and the support and enthusiasm is infectious, they have supported us with after work activities, updated us on city wide initiatives and attended well-being events engaging with our partners in a friendly and supportive way. What really makes them stand out to us is their can do attitude and the feeling that they really do care about the health and wellbeing of our Partners, looking forward to many more collaborations in the future keep up the good work”

Neil Jones (Partnership Manager) Active Leeds stated – “Our partnership with the team at John Lewis has flourished over the last 12 months and we have supported a large number of John Lewis partners to get active. The organisation is passionate as we are about supporting people and communities to thrive and employee health and wellbeing is taken very seriously. The positive and swift manner that the team at John Lewis have acted upon our recommendations has been refreshing and we are looking forward to working in partnership for many years to come. Collaboration is key for Active Leeds as we strive to make Leeds the best City to be active in.

 

 

Leeds Girls Can Clubbercise

LGC clubbercise

Despite the snow we enjoyed a successful International Women’s Day in Leeds! Our main event was the Leeds Girls Can Clubbercise session which took place in the middle of the Trinity Centre (yes that’s right, surrounded by shoppers and commuters) in the evening. Leeds Girls Can ran two hours of Clubbercise for anybody who wanted to take part. It was fantastic to see women and men joining in with the International Women’s Day celebrations. We had all ages amongst our ranks, the youngest and arguably the cutest being Sienna, age 4. She was definitely the best out of us all, she didn’t want to stop. Hopefully she will remember the event as she gets older, going through life knowing that girls can do anything. That is why we exist, to show people that they can achieve anything, even when it’s out of their comfort zone.

You may think that we looked like a bunch of crazy people dancing in the middle of a shopping centre but there was a very important purpose for it. We like to show that the women of Leeds are resilient, no matter how many eyes were on us it didn’t matter! We were having fun, getting a good workout in and proving that Leeds Girls Can.

Made in Leeds TV even came to cover the event and much to my horror I was interviewed as a participant. I tried very hard not to try too hard at the ‘clubbericising’ because I didn’t want to be out of breath to speak to the camera, I think I pulled it off… see for yourself and watch it here: Made in Leeds TV Clubbercise I hope you all had a fab International Women’s Day! Comment below with what you got up to! Em x Instagram: active.em.blog Facebook: Emily Ankers – Leeds Girls Can Ambassador

Leeds Sports Awards 2018

LGC leeds sports awards

The Leeds Girls Can Ambassadors were very lucky and grateful to be invited to the Leeds Sports Awards 2018. It was a rare occasion in more than one way, we swapped our trainers for heels, the only problem was that we hardly recognised each other in all our finery away from a muddy park or sweaty spin studio. Held at the First Direct Arena, this was a highly prestigious event, just to give you a sense of the scale of the awards, it was sponsored by Leeds Bid, Banana Kick, The University of Leeds, ImageCo, Blacks Solicitors, First Direct Bank, Leeds Bradford Airport, Sport Leeds, Yorkshire Sport Foundation, Resource, SWPix, Leeds Sports Federation, Leeds City Council and the Yorkshire Evening Post. Quite a mouthful.

It was a wonderful evening celebrating the achievements of all sorts of people involved in sports in Leeds, with young, senior and special contributions awards, it was an extremely diverse line up. As Leeds Girls Can Ambassadors we were very interested in the female winners, celebrating their strength and determination in their respective sports. We were lucky enough to get to meet some of them, accidentally photo bombing Izzy Palmer’s family photo – sorry Izzy. Izzy won the Young Sportswoman – Disability Award for her amazing efforts and achievements as a para dressage rider. I’m actually quite terrified of horses so I’m in awe of her for even going near one but at age 17 with a list of achievements that would take up this entire blog post, she really is the perfect example of a Leeds Girl proving that she can.

We also met Charlotte Booth, winner of the Student Sport – Individual Award. Charlotte is also the first female rugby league player to receive the Talented Athlete Scholarship Scheme (TASS) from Sport England. Charlotte plays for the Leeds Rhinos and has played on the England Squad. Now I don’t know that much about rugby but you don’t need to be an expert to realise that she is an absolutely phenomenal player, fantastic role model and literally #quadgoals. Charlotte is also a student at Leeds Trinity and we bonded over the joy that is Temple Donuts and Coffee (if you haven’t been you need to go, it’s on Kirkstall Road – have a cheeky Google). It just shows, if a pro rugby player says it’s fine to eat donuts, it’s 100% fine to eat donuts.

Another amazing female athlete that we met was Boxing Coach Sam Smith, Sam and her fellow coach Graham Mattison won the Coach – Participation Award. It was wonderful to hear about the positive impact their club (Alliance Boxing) has on the Leeds community. A highlight of the evening was when some younger club members started doing a demonstration of their boxing techniques on stage (not on each other, don’t worry). As much as the children entertained us, it was obvious to see that this confidence was a direct product of their experiences at the club. Sport doesn’t just keep us fit, it gives us confidence in day to day life.

We also got to meet Hannah Cockcroft MBE winner of the Sportswoman – Disability Award, an absolute legend. Her numerous successes include her multiple Gold medal wins at London 2012 and Rio 2016 in wheelchair racing. She was lovely and so happy to have a picture with us as Leeds Girls Can. It really struck me how all of the athletes that we met were so happy to talk to us. It felt like they were instantly part of the Leeds Girls Can and wider This Girl Can community, because we were all there for the same reason. To show our support for the achievements and efforts for men and women in sports, regardless of gender or age, everybody equally deserved their awards.

Thank you to Banana Kick for inviting us! We had a great time representing Leeds Girls Can amongst such a vibrant, energetic and fun Leeds sporting community.

Em x

Insta: @active.em.blog

Facebook: Emily Ankers – Leeds Girls Can Ambassador

Twitter: @active_em_blog

Pilates with Oov for International Women’s Day 2018

LGC pilates photo

As you might already know, Leeds Girls Can had a very successful International Women’s Day on 8th March. Unfortunately, because of the snow some of our sessions were cancelled but Headingley Pilates were extremely kind and rescheduled for us. Myself and my friend Molly (shout out to Molly) went along to find out what on earth Oov Pilates is!

You can see us holding our Oovs in the group photo. When I first saw it I honestly thought it looked like some sort of foam Loch Ness monster. Seriously, how were we going to incorporate that into our Pilates?! Jenny our instructor was very informative and lovely, she quickly showed and explained to us what it was for. Taken from the Oov website, an Oov:

‘… works by activating the user’s core stabilising muscles while also gently extending the spine to stimulate healthy intervertebral disc lubrication. This active response in the user helps achieve ‘neutral spine’, a widely used concept in the treatment and assessment of spinal conditions.’

It was fun trying to get onto the Oov, I’ll tell you that, but the difference that it made to how your back feels was really incredible. It sort of supports you in a way that means you can stretch better and further. It also challenges you to keep your core steady in a different way which made the moves that little bit harder. We also used it for balance practise, standing on it on one foot whilst raising our other leg. I am surprised that I didn’t fall off but it really helped me work on my balance, something that has gone a little bit out of the window since I don’t practise Karate regularly anymore. By the end of the class I felt like I had used my muscles properly, engaging them as best as possible, nicely stretched and ready for the day ahead.

We had a fab session and I would strongly recommend that you give Oov Pilates a go!

Thank you to Headingley Pilates and Jenny for looking after us so well and for introducing us to the wonderful world of the Oov.

Em x Headingley Pilates: Headingley Pilates Website

Facebook: Emily Ankers – Leeds Girls Can Ambassador Instagram: @active.em.blog Twitter: @active_em_blog

Uni Girls Can Post-Workout Nutrition Workshop

Here at Leeds Girls Can we are all about getting out and active. Such an important part of leading a healthy and balanced life is nutrition and post-exercise nutrition is absolutely key to seeing and feeling results. Today (Thursday 30th November) I attended a workshop run by Uni Girls Can who had teamed up with some of the ladies in the Food Science department at the University of Leeds. It was super interesting and helpful with lots of nifty tips and tricks to help you get the most out of your food.

Chloe, Maika, Diana and Yoana took us through the importance of nutrition after exercise for recovery and also general healthy eating. They had us take part in a fun quiz asking questions about what which foods we thought had more protein in (pumpkin seeds actually have more protein per 100g than chicken breast!?) and general ideas about nutrition that we might have.

They then did two demonstrations of a snack and a meal. The post-exercise snack was a simple smoothie, made with fruit, yoghurt and milk (vegan option provided too!) – this smoothie actually had 16g of protein in it – perfect for replenishing energy and aiding muscle recovery. The second demonstration was of how to make Quorn meatball vegetable pasta. What was really great about both the snack and the meal was that we were given lots of options for making it home – different pasta to use, different vegetable ideas, how to save money when buying fruit and vegetables. We discovered a red lentil pasta that exists which is a) delicious and b) has 20g of protein in per serving!

Throughout the whole workshop everybody was getting involved by asking lots of questions, chatting about the kind of food that they like to make, the sports everybody is involved with. It was such a great way to learn more about nutrition and try some tasty food (always a bonus!).

Thank you so much to the Chloe, Maika, Yoana and Diana for teaching us some delicious recipes and giving us some very valuable information about nutrition. Thank you to all the ladies that came along to the workshop! Hopefully, in the near future Leeds Girls Can ladies might be able to attend one of these interesting and fun workshops… watch this space!

Em x

My First Post-Pregnancy Run (the second time around) – before, during and after

Before:

Right now it’s a week away from a very important day for me… the day when I do my first post-pregnancy run. Just like after my last pregnancy, I’ve waited until 12 weeks have passed and followed a mixed plan of physio and pelvic floor exercises to give myself the best possible chance of strengthening those core areas affected by pregnancy and birth. But now, the wait is almost over, and I approach it with a mixture of excitement and anxiety. Excitement to get back out there and anxiety about how it will feel, how I will get on. Will I collapse in a heap after 30 seconds…? Whatever happens I won’t have to wait long to find out…!

Leanne Lane with Bump and Daughter

During:

Hooray! The day is finally here! Having stopped running early on in my pregnancy due to pelvic discomfort, it feels like a looooong time has passed. Feeling very excited as I put on my running gear and lace up my running shoes. Its winter, my favourite time of year to run, I much prefer the cold to the heat. I’m having to go early, and make sure my toddler is ok and that baby is full of milk and settled before I go, but then they’ll be snuggled up with Daddy until I get back. Once I’m out the door, there’s no stopping me and the feeling of freedom is unbelievable – I can’t remember the last time I went anywhere without taking at least one child with me! Off down the street following my usual route without even thinking twice, I haven’t planned in advance where I’d go, just wherever my legs take me. Legs that feel slightly stiff from not running for a long time and a body tired from lack of sleep – but it feels good, feels nice. It feels different but the same. No music. Just running to the sound of my own beat. 

Leanne Lane Post Pregnancy Run

Afterwards:

I hadn’t planned to run for long, and I didn’t. I was out for 20 minutes at most and yes my pace was quite slow (not that I ever run that fast). But oh what a run. A delicious, indulgent, time-for-me, RUN. I’m glad to say that I didn’t collapse in a heap as I feared that I might do. I can’t say I found it easy but I did find it enjoyable and that’s what I love about running. That it was there, waiting for me, once I’d had my baby and felt ok enough to put on my running shoes again, like a trusty friend who you don’t have to speak to every day but who you know is always there for you. And so, I’m pleased to say, my love of running continues…

 

Thanks for reading! I’d love to hear your pregnancy or post pregnancy running stories if you’d like to share any in the comments below.

 

Leanne Lane

Leanne Lane and Daughter