Astley Sports Village: Make a Difference Program

3 min read
Thursday, 4 August 2016

Fitness and teaching staff are using group heart rate training with MYZONE to help inactive students overcome self confidence issues in a safe and encouraging environment.

Astley Sports Village, part of Astley Sports College in Dukenfield, Cheshire launched the Make A Difference program (M.A.D.) two years ago to help stem the rising levels of obesity among the college students.

The program targets 11 to 16 year olds who are significantly overweight and suffer from low self esteem. Delivered by fitness staff working in partnership with the school’s leadership team and pastoral care staff, M.A.D. aims to educate students about healthy living through exercise and nutrition. The program runs for 10 weeks, catering for 12 to 15 students at a time, and includes an hour of group physical activity each week such as hockey, basketball, netball or dodgeball. The program also includes nutritional education ranging from meal planning and portion control to hidden sugars in food.

group heart rate training

After a successful bid to Tameside Metropolitan Borough Council, Astley Sports Village recently secured £1,000 to invest in MYZONE to help support the M.A.D. program.

“We’ve been using MYZONE for almost four years at the sports village and I’m a firm believer in the power of the technology to motivate people to adhere to exercise. I always wanted to incorporate MYZONE into the M.A.D. program, and thanks to the new funding we’ve been able to do just that for the majority of young people on the program,” says Mark Storie, director of Astley Sports Village. 

The funding has paid for 10 MYZONE belts, which are used by those students deemed most likely to benefit from the technology.

“The students absolutely love it. It’s very user friendly and they really like the social connection feed, which allows them to see each other’s workouts. Unfortunately, we don’t have enough belts for all students on the program, but those using MYZONE understand that it is a privilege and they are at risk of losing it if they don’t fully commit to the program,” says Storie.

It’s a privilege that’s already paying dividends, he says.

“In the short time that we’ve been using MYZONE on the program, we’ve seen more weight loss among students and more compliance to M.A.D. And, for the first time, I can monitor how much activity the students are doing outside of the weekly exercise sessions, which is crucial to their behavior change and long-term success.”

group heart rate training

There have also been other benefits to the programme.

“The main goal of M.A.D. was to improve the health and wellbeing of young people and to re-educate them so they could make healthy choices. But the informal nature of the program has allowed us to develop better relationships with the students, which has helped to build their self-esteem and we’ve seen a significant improvement in their behavior generally,” says Storie, who aims to build on the success of the program.

“MYZONE is vital to the success of M.A.D. Not only has it helped to improve our results, but it gives me the data I need to prove the success of the program, which will hopefully help to secure further funding so that other young people in the area can benefit from the program.”

Group heart rate training is a great way to get your group, business, or club performing at the next level.

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