I have always loved spin classes at the gym.
Years ago, a group of us from work made it a weekly ritual to get along to one of the stationary cycle classes which took off around the globe in the early 2000s.
We were all different shapes, sizes and ages but the great thing about the cycle class was we could all work at our own pace and fitness abilities and there was no coordination necessary.
So, when I heard Variety – the children’s charity were holding Spin 4 Kids, I thought, maybe it’s time to get the old crew back together.
Spin 4 Kids is a six-hour team or individual event. Whoever travels the furthest in that time will be declared the winner.
Variety regional director Jason Bourke told me it’s nothing new to hold a spin relay like this as a charity event, but apparently it is the first time one will be held outdoors.
“It’s based on a very similar event in the United States which runs across 100 cities in the states on the one day,” Bourke said.
“I thought why don’t we bring that event to Newcastle and trial it and if it’s successful then we can take it elsewhere, to places like Wollongong and other regional areas. There are plenty of spin bike charity events but not outdoors, so that makes it a bit unique.”
Bourke said Variety were keen to see who the fittest company were in Newcastle.
“It is designed for corporate teams and local businesses who can use it as a team building and staff engagement opportunity,” he said.
“It’s also designed for social groups, friends and families.
“We also think there are some individuals out there that can take on the six-hour individual challenge as well.”
Accountancy firm PKF have thrown the gauntlet down to other Newcastle businesses, declaring they are “the fittest company in town” last week.
They were the first to sign up for Variety Spin 4 Kids, which is set down for August 4 at Harbour Square, Honeysuckle.
Bourke said funds raised during the event will support the Variety schools program, which provides cash scholarships of up to $5000 for local children living with disabilities or experiencing financial hardship who are talented athletes and may need a few extra dollars to help further themselves.
Bourke said there were 60 bikes available and Variety are encouraging teams from all fields to enter.
“We want to see who is the best emergency services team, fittest bank, insurance company and accountants, and more,” he said.
“PKF were the first to sign up and Sidcor have taken on the challenge once they heard PKF were on board.”
I have already started canvassing The Herald office and hope we can get a couple of teams together to race each other.
It is a great event on many fronts – helping people in the community while also getting active. And the way the event is set up will suit all levels of fitness, or lack thereof. Find out more at www.variety.org.au/nsw/spin4kids.
Knee bent heel raises can help runners
In the build-up to the Winery Running Festival, which is looming large on July 16, I have been picking the brains of some local experts.
This week’s exercise tip for runners from Physio&Pilates Co physiotherapist Felicity Dan is “Bent knee heel raises”, which are good for strengthening the calf muscles and improving power and shock absorption.
Dan says: “Stand with your feet underneath your hips and bend your knees. Find a neutral posture through your hips and spine. Rise up onto your toes, feeling a squeeze through your calves without changing your knee angle or posture.”
Upcoming health events
Raffertys Coastal Run, July 8, Lake Macquarie: An 11km, 22km or 35km trail run through Catherine Hill Bay and the Munmorah State Conservation Area. www.raffertyscoastalrun.com.au.
Winery Running Festival, July 16, Hunter Valley: Offering distances of 21.1km, 10k and 6km and 2km for kids. www.wineryrun.com.
Variety Spin 4 Kids, August 4, Honeysuckle: A great opportunity to get a team of colleagues, friends of family together, or take on the challenge by yourself, and ride for six hours, raising funds for disadvantaged children in our area. www.variety.org.au/nsw/event/variety-spin-4-kids.
Renee Valentine is a writer, qualified personal trainer and mother of three. firstname.lastname@example.org.