Free gym passes for Doncaster’s pregnant women

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Fitness is now firmly on the agenda of the town’s ‘This Girl Can’ for pregnant women campaign thanks to a partnership which is being launched today (June 24) between the NHS and Doncaster Culture and Leisure Trust (DCLT).

Pregnant Women from the borough will all be offered a seven day gym pass giving them and a friend access to DCLT venues across the borough.

Staff at the centres have undertaken additional training on nutrition, exercise advice and obesity in pregnancy to support the offer.

Carolyn Garland and Alison Williams, Specialist Healthy Lifestyle Midwives at Doncaster and Bassetlaw Hospitals, are urging all pregnant women to take advantage of this fitness opportunity and to come along to the campaign launch at The Dome in Doncaster at 6pm.

Carolyn said: “We are saying to pregnant ladies that exercise is good for you and your baby. Pregnancy is a time when women can experience a vast range of emotions and concerns, and this can include their body image and weight.

“Our aim is to give them the confidence to start gentle exercise to improve their own health. The more active and fit they are during pregnancy the easier it will be for them to cope with labour and to get back into shape after the birth.”

To help get started, each pregnant lady will be given a free seven day fitness pass for two to use in any Choose Fitness gym, swimming pool or fitness class, courtesy of Doncaster Culture and Leisure Trust (DCLT). The pass is available from their midwife or to pick up on the launch night. The DCLT will also raffle a one year free gym membership on the campaign launch evening.

Pregnant women attending the event tonight will be given a chance to try out a new aquanatal service at 6.45pm until 7.30pm which will be free for the launch night.

Alison Williams said: “Women can start gym based exercise even if they were not fit before. Our work is about supporting pregnant women to make lifestyle changes that will enable their babies and them to enjoy a healthier pregnancy and the best possible start in life.”

The This Girl Can nationwide campaign has been set up by Sport England to get women and girls moving, regardless of shape, size and ability.

Their research reveals a huge difference in the number of men and women playing sport. More than 13 million people have now viewed the flagship This Girl Can film online.

Jon Whiteley, head of community development for DCLT said: “Getting involved with Sport England and the ‘This Girl Can’ campaign was a must for us as we want to make exercise accessible for everyone in the borough.

“We are also delighted to be joining forces with the local NHS to support their ‘This Girl Can’ for pregnant women campaign focusing on ante and post natal exercise.

“Our fitness instructors have attended a special antenatal course focusing on specific exercises for pregnant women and we are looking forward to welcoming people who’ve been given free passes as part of this campaign to our gyms.

“The right kind of exercise can be very beneficial in pregnancy and we hope to support as many women as possible via this campaign.”

For further information about Doncaster Culture and Leisure Trust and the sites it operates visit www.dclt.co.uk