Posted on: Friday 27 August 2021
An exercise programme for women is proving so popular that extra sessions are being organised to help meet demand.
The #ifyougoigo initiative, run by Torfaen Council's sports development team and Torfaen Leisure Trust, is a free 10-week course for up to 15 women, which includes a personal trainer, group sessions and nutritional and healthy living advice.
More than 200 women applied for a recent course, so as well as arranging a further two programmes, organisers are planning special boot camps sessions at Pontypool Park every Saturday morning.
Lorna Ralph, 37, from Northville in Cwmbran, says #ifyougoigo has changed her life.
"At the start of the programme I was in a bad place suffering from depression and my confidence was at an all-time low," she said.
“The thought of going into a gym was daunting but meeting everyone on the programme meant I had other women I could call to go to the gym or exercise classes, and it made me really look forward to my workouts.”
Since joining the programme Lorna has lost two and a half stone and is now training for a half-marathon.
Terri- Ann Williams, 34, from Greenmeadow, in Cwmbran, added: "The programme has been a godsend. Now I love the gym and I can go by myself without worrying about people looking at me. I have tried classes and sports I never dreamed of doing.
"I spent so much of my life underestimating myself, telling myself I could never do things. At the start of the programme I could barely climb the stairs without getting out of breath, but at the end I climbed Pen Y Fan Mountain which felt amazing."
As well as individual and group sessions, the course includes access to Torfaen Leisure Trust classes and gyms, the use of home fitness equipment, and links to community sports clubs. So far 70 women have taken part in the programme.
Everyone who takes part in the course is asked to score their mental and emotional wellbeing before and at the end, and all participants record an improvement in their feelings of confidence, happiness, self-esteem, motivation, knowledge and social life.
Torfaen Council's Executive Member for Education, Councillor Richard Clark, said: “Evidence shows women are more likely to participate in physical activity if they have someone to go with them. We recognise this and really wanted to highlight the power that support can have, hence the name #ifyougoigo.
“It’s great to learn that the lives of Lorna, Terri-ann and all the women who have taken part have drastically improved."
Torfaen Council and Torfaen Leisure Trust have recently launched a similar fitness programme for men called BetterMan. For more information contact email@example.com.
For more information about #ifyougoigo, including the boot camp sessions, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01633 628936.