Healthy Living: Kellyanne is boxing clever with free exercise sessions

Kellyanne Sharman (second left), a health and fitness development worker, takes her Zumba class at the Arbourthorne Centre, with, from left, Venessa Kenny, Cheryl Hopewell and Maureen Joy.
Kellyanne Sharman (second left), a health and fitness development worker, takes her Zumba class at the Arbourthorne Centre, with, from left, Venessa Kenny, Cheryl Hopewell and Maureen Joy.
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IT’S January, 2013 is two weeks old, and people’s thoughts have turned to working off their festive indulgences - although the sometimes costly price of gym membership can prove an expensive luxury for many.

But a Sheffield community charity has made it its mission to provide a range of exercise and healthy eating sessions completely free, to encourage Sheffielders to lose weight and get fit.

Many of the classes are run by Kellyanne Sharman, a health and fitness worker at the Manor and Castle Development Trust, who says she’s determined to encourage as many people as possible to take advantage of the programmes and change their lifestyles.

The trust’s sessions include zumba, boxercise, walking and a six-week scheme called Eat Well, Be Well, Feel Well. All are open to anyone over 16, with the oldest participant so far aged 78.

“It’s so important that it’s free,” said Kellyanne.

“At the minute, the cost of living is going up and people just can’t afford gym membership. It’s vital that people can come and do these sessions for no charge. Our main goal is to try and get new people in as much as we can.”

Manor and Castle Development Trust was set up in 1997 to help regenerate neighbourhoods in the Manor and Castle ward. Its services include training, help finding work, health, support for families and activities for children and young people.

Kellyanne started work for the trust three years ago, when it offered only a limited range of fitness classes.

“All I did was legs, bums and tums, chairobics and things like pram pushes,” she said. “I qualified as a boxercise trainer and put classes on for six weeks, but only got two people turning up at first. Now we get up to 30 every week, it’s been a real success.

“It’s great that we can say we’ve done so much for people, it’s been fantastic.”

She said she has used her own outgoing personality and promotional skills to boost attendance numbers.

“I go out and speak to people, I go out on The Moor and start dancing to zumba music. People know me in the area now, kids go past and say ‘There’s the boxercise lady!’

“I always deliver programmes that I’d want to see myself doing, I want people to smile and have fun. When I welcome people I say that they’ve come to keep fit and no-one will judge anybody else.”

Kellyanne said the most popular session is the boxercise class, which runs at the Park Centre on Samson Street, Sheffield, every Tuesday.

“I think it’s popular because it gets the results, there are all different shapes and sizes of people that come, which makes people feel confident.

“Some gyms people go to just to look good, but we get real people.”

She added: “With the Eat Well programme, we give people an envelope when they start and tell them to write down a goal that’s realistic, say a pound a week. We never tell them they’re doing a diet.
“All we’re doing is making slight changes, which do get bigger results. People find the weight comes off very quickly if you concentrate on things like portion size. We do group discussions too which work very well, people feed off advice from others.

“Then they start to buddy up and move on to the fitness classes. There’s so much support that goes on within my sessions, I try and treat the members like friends.”

Kellyanne, aged 35, lives in Woodhouse, and developed her interest in fitness after working in holiday camps in Torquay and Somerset as a teenager.

“I got asked to do aerobics for the holidaymakers, but around the same time I was diagnosed with thyroid disorder. I had weighed nine stones, but by the time I was 20 I was 19-and-a-half stones. It was horrendous, really depressing. People looked at me in a different way.”

Kellyanne returned to Sheffield, where she was taken on by a ladies-only gym in the city centre.

“I worked in a clothing shop and used to hear the women shouting from the gym across the road. I remember thinking ‘I want to be in that room’. I was really surprised that they took me on because of my weight.

“Lots of people loved the fact that I knew my stuff - I was still overweight but not on purpose. People probably understood me more, and through doing the fitness sessions I lost weight myself.

“I’m the fittest I’ve felt in ages. That’s why I love what I do, because obviously I’ve been there and I’ve got a story to tell. You understand why people get so depressed about it.”

But Kellyanne said she is concerned the trust won’t be able to sustain its work if its funding is cut.

“We got a vulnerability notice just before Christmas. It will be so sad if it goes. We’ve helped so many people.”

For more information visit www.manorandcastle.org.uk/health2, call 0114 252 1035 or 0114 278 9999. IT’S January, 2013 is two weeks old, and people’s thoughts have turned to working off their festive indulgences - although the sometimes costly price of gym membership can prove an expensive luxury for many.

But a Sheffield community charity has made it its mission to provide a range of exercise and healthy eating sessions completely free, to encourage Sheffielders to lose weight and get fit.

Many of the classes are run by Kellyanne Sharman, a health and fitness worker at the Manor and Castle Development Trust, who says she’s determined to encourage as many people as possible to take advantage of the programmes and change their lifestyles.

The trust’s sessions include zumba, boxercise, walking and a six-week scheme called Eat Well, Be Well, Feel Well. All are open to anyone over 16, with the oldest participant so far aged 78.

“It’s so important that it’s free,” said Kellyanne.

“At the minute, the cost of living is going up and people just can’t afford gym membership. It’s vital that people can come and do these sessions for no charge. Our main goal is to try and get new people in as much as we can.”

Manor and Castle Development Trust was set up in 1997 to help regenerate neighbourhoods in the Manor and Castle ward. Its services include training, help finding work, health, support for families and activities for children and young people.

Kellyanne started work for the trust three years ago, when it offered only a limited range of fitness classes.

“All I did was legs, bums and tums, chairobics and things like pram pushes,” she said. “I qualified as a boxercise trainer and put classes on for six weeks, but only got two people turning up at first. Now we get up to 30 every week, it’s been a real success.

“It’s great that we can say we’ve done so much for people, it’s been fantastic.”

She said she has used her own outgoing personality and promotional skills to boost attendance numbers.

“I go out and speak to people, I go out on The Moor and start dancing to zumba music. People know me in the area now, kids go past and say ‘There’s the boxercise lady!’

“I always deliver programmes that I’d want to see myself doing, I want people to smile and have fun. When I welcome people I say that they’ve come to keep fit and no-one will judge anybody else.”

Kellyanne said the most popular session is the boxercise class, which runs at the Park Centre on Samson Street, Sheffield, every Tuesday.

“I think it’s popular because it gets the results, there are all different shapes and sizes of people that come, which makes people feel confident.

“Some gyms people go to just to look good, but we get real people.”

She added: “With the Eat Well programme, we give people an envelope when they start and tell them to write down a goal that’s realistic, say a pound a week. We never tell them they’re doing a diet.
“All we’re doing is making slight changes, which do get bigger results. People find the weight comes off very quickly if you concentrate on things like portion size. We do group discussions too which work very well, people feed off advice from others.

“Then they start to buddy up and move on to the fitness classes. There’s so much support that goes on within my sessions, I try and treat the members like friends.”

Kellyanne, aged 35, lives in Woodhouse, and developed her interest in fitness after working in holiday camps in Torquay and Somerset as a teenager.

“I got asked to do aerobics for the holidaymakers, but around the same time I was diagnosed with thyroid disorder. I had weighed nine stones, but by the time I was 20 I was 19-and-a-half stones. It was horrendous, really depressing. People looked at me in a different way.”

Kellyanne returned to Sheffield, where she was taken on by a ladies-only gym in the city centre.

“I worked in a clothing shop and used to hear the women shouting from the gym across the road. I remember thinking ‘I want to be in that room’. I was really surprised that they took me on because of my weight.

“Lots of people loved the fact that I knew my stuff - I was still overweight but not on purpose. People probably understood me more, and through doing the fitness sessions I lost weight myself.

“I’m the fittest I’ve felt in ages. That’s why I love what I do, because obviously I’ve been there and I’ve got a story to tell. You understand why people get so depressed about it.”

But Kellyanne said she is concerned the trust won’t be able to sustain its work if its funding is cut.

“We got a vulnerability notice just before Christmas. It will be so sad if it goes. We’ve helped so many people.”

For more information visit www.manorandcastle.org.uk/health2, call 0114 252 1035 or 0114 278 9999.