Carmarthen students and staff get active as exercise is built into timetable
STAFF and pupils at a Carmarthen college have no excuse to turn into couch potatoes — after a campus rule that everyone must exercise.
Inspired by the legacy of the Olympic Games, the Pibwrlwyd campus of Coleg Sir Gâr has scheduled daily exercise into every student's timetable — and staff are expected to get involved too.
A former computer room has been transformed into a gym with running and rowing machines, exercise bikes and cross-trainers among the facilities.
Overseeing the new scheme is Natalie Hammett, who is the Coleg Sir Gâr sports officer.
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She said: "The aim is to get everyone exercising at the campus.
"It has proved popular so far with students having time built into their lecture plans to be able to come along and exercise. Because it is part of the students' timetable they have no excuse not to come along.
"It is also open lunchtimes for people to use."
The move is tied into the 5x60 initiative which aims to get people doing 60 minutes of exercise, five times a week.
The ambitious scheme echoes calls from London mayor Boris Johnson, who said over the summer that children should have two hours of physical exercise every day at school.
He said he would like to see the sort of activity he enjoyed at Eton rolled out across the UK.
Miss Hammett added: "The Olympics really spurred people on over the summer and I think it has made them more aware of keeping fit and daily exercise."
She added over time other campuses belonging to Coleg Sir Gâr could take up the fitness challenge. "Ideally I'd like to think the other campuses could get a bit jealous of what we have developed here and set up their own exercise facility. There are also chances for the public to use the facility in the evenings as we are starting Zumba on Tuesdays at 4.15pm and Pilates on Thursdays at 5.15pm."