Plaistow fitness festival is taste of Olympics

More than two hundred young people took part in a fitness festival that gave them a taste of the Olympics.

The event was organised by charity Community Links and was held at Terrence McMillan Stadium in Plaistow.

Teams from each of the charity’s six youth clubs competed in dozens of events ranging from the traditional Olympic sports of high jump, shot put and sprint, to the soon-to-feature “reverse welly throwing” and the “weight-lifting-with-bottles-of-water”.

The steel band gave the event a summery feel despite the torrential rain, which saw everyone sheltering in the athletics centre at the Terrence McMillan Stadium.

The event was a culmination of eight weeks of workshops and activities about how to stay healthy, and saw health messages weaved into all the events, with free health checks, nutrition information, cancer-awareness stalls, smoothie-making, and a zumba fitness class.

In a fierce competition the Rokeby Hub team came first overall, with Chandos East second. Rokeby’s Valentim De Jesus also won the sportsperson award. Teams included boys and girls, including young people with disabilities, from Community Links projects, as well as the charity’s staff, and supporters from east London businesses.

The idea for a health games came from Haden Martyr, educational youth worker who said: “As anyone could participate and get involved, this event opened doors to people of all ages, abilities or backgrounds, plus everyone’s a winner because they are getting healthy at the same time.”