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Mr Stretch’s Journey around Cumbria

June 26, 2015

In the past two weeks Active Cumbria & Mr Stretch, PE teacher extraordinaire aka Garry Gifford, from the Bread and Butter Theatre Company have embarked on a fantastic journey around our great County of Cumbria cycling in the region of 250 miles.

This in itself would be a great achievement but whilst en route Mr Stretch decided it would be a good idea to make a couple of stops along the way and put all of his endless energy into inspiring the children of Cumbria to become more active.

As part of the two week tour Mr Stretch has visited a total of 22 schools and educated, engaged and inspired approximately 2,300 children through the means of music, magic, movement and laughter.

The tour has taken Active Cumbria and Mr Stretch to each district across the County beginning in Whitehaven and ending in Braithwaite and as you will see from our photo gallery Mr Stretch even managed to make a little detour to Scotland. Mr Stretch was also very keen to practice what he preached and tried out a number of new activities at the Cumbria School Games - there really is an activity for everybody to try!

Whilst this all sounds like great fun there were some key messages he was keen to convey to the schools including the importance of building 60 minutes of physical activity into their daily routines. The tour also touched upon the importance of eating a balanced diet i.e. food heroes and food villains whilst encouraging us all to make small changes such as sugar swaps.

On the final day of tour Mr Stretch took on the ultimate challenge of tackling the Honister Pass which he conquered and won.

Kelly Alty, Active Cumbria Development Officer (Physical Activity) said

“This tour has provided a fantastic opportunity to raise awareness regarding the Physical Activity guidelines whilst encouraging the children of Cumbria to make small changes. It is vital that we all start to move more and reduce the growing trend around sedentary behaviour. We have had some fantastic feedback and positivity from the schools involved and Mr Stretch’s energy most definitely helped to enthuse the children and show how easy it is to incorporate activity into your everyday lifestyles”.

Garry Gifford, The Bread and Butter Theatre Company aka Mr Stretch said

“The Mr Stretch Pedal your way to Health tour was an amazing experience for me.  The children (and their teachers) were so enthusiastic all across schools in Cumbria and they really seemed to respond to the healthy lifestyle message we were trying to get across.  I got to experience the beauty of the county at cycling pace and have acquired hitherto unknown muscles as well as losing half a stone.  It is always good to practice what you preach!  Hopefully we can run similar projects in the future”