Oct 3 2012 By Katrina Tweedie
Coached off the couch Image 2
IT TAKES a brave person to tell single mums juggling kids, work, school runs and homes to get fit and eat healthily as well.
Fortunately, presenter Kelly Cates has a gentle way of persuading people to do what’s best for them.
She helps mums Irene Cockburn and Sharon Kennedy to motivate their daughters on Coached Off the Couch, the STV series following families on their journey to a fitter lifestyle.
With the help of some sports stars the Glasgow mums, who met through a single parent support group, are introduced to new activities – two straightforward and one more unusual “wildcard” challenge.
For Irene, mum to 12-year-old Emily, adopting a healthier lifestyle is more crucial because her father dropped dead with a heart attack at the age of 52, when she was just Emily’s age.
“I’m that age now and it brought it home to me. That could happen to me any day and then Emily would be left on her own. I just want to do it for her. I want to be a fabby 50 not a fusty 50,” said credit controller Irene.
But pal Sharon, a community support worker and mum to Megan, nine, knows how hard it can be to turn pre-teen girls on to exercise.
Statistically, they are the least likely to take up sport and even among those who are active, many quit when they reach teenage years.
First up was a training session with Scotland’s top ladies football team – Glasgow City.
While Megan went for it, even being a team mascot couldn’t convince Emily. She said: “I enjoyed training and being a mascot, just not the playing.”
Then came a golf lesson with Catriona Matthew, the first Scot to win a ladies’ major.
Here, Emily hit her stride – graduating to using full-size clubs on thedriving range in one afternoon, while Irene and Sharon both showed promise. The girls’ wildcard activity saw them travel to Olympia Ice Rink in East Kilbride to meet coaches Lee Ann Collins and Scottish champion Taylor Ranald.
Skating burns up to 800 calories and hour and improves posture and balance. The girls loved it and are eager to come back for more.
With Megan up for football and Emily hooked on golf, their mums have both been inspired to get more active.
Coached Off the Couch will be on STV on Friday at 8pm.