Generous Gemma gives new project a perfect kick-start

May 01 2018
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A MUM has helped to put a smile on the faces of children in Fishponds after she decided to hand over her competition prize to their after-school sports sessions.

As reported in the Voice, Jane Rogers pitched at Downend Soup in March for her social enterprise Jump Start Food & Fitness, and was successful in winning £400 to support her activity sessions that help children from local housing estates gain teambuilding, fitness and healthy eating skills.

After hearing about Jump Start and Jane’s sessions on the grass outside Ledbury Road flats in Fishponds, local mum Gemma Wallis decided to donate the football kits that she had won in a McDonald’s competition. She had entered to win football strip for her two sons, aged four and 15 months, but after receiving enough kit for a whole team, she decided to give them to Jane instead.

Gemma said: “This all came about from a competition I actually forgot that I entered! My two boys love their football and I thought it would be useful to have a few things for them to play with in the garden. A few months passed and I had an email from McDonald’s saying they had been trying to contact me and that I was one of 250k winners of a football kit. The kit arrived a few weeks later, and much to my surprise it was actually a grassroots football kit for an entire team - totally not what I thought I’d be getting!

“Straight away I was thinking about who could benefit from this amazing kit, which included footballs, bibs and cones, as it was too good to keep, and I thought Jump Start would be the perfect fit!”

Jane says the football kit has made a big difference to the children she supports. She said: “The kids are loving it so far! It makes them feel like proper footballers and it’s easier to work out who is in each team too.”

Following on from the success of her sessions at Ledbury Road flats, Jane will shortly be starting a similar session in Barton Hill, and the team from a block of flats in Staple Hill have also got in touch to say that they would like to launch a session in their community too.

 Jane said: “The impact of what we have done so far is massive - it’s really exciting!

“My ethos is all about making fitness more accessible. The sessions typically involve running, jumping, games and challenges, and I also monitor the children’s fitness and empower them to play a role in their community too, doing things like cooking dinner for their family or doing a food shop for a neighbour.

“My sessions help the children to develop coping strategies and life skills going forward, and as much as I teach them, I also learn from them too which is amazing.” 

To find out more about Jump Start and the sessions that Jane runs for children in Bristol, visit her Facebook page: www.facebook.com/jumpstartfoodandfitness/