JUST a few months ago, Olympic swimmer Mark Foster was flying the flag for Team GB in Beijing.
On Friday he was at St Clere’s School in Stanford-le-Hope as part of a multi-agency initiative to promote play and drive down obesity levels in the borough.
As figures show more than a quarter of UK children are now overweight, health chiefs believe the key to keeping youngsters slim and fit is to build more modern and exciting play equipment in schools to encourage them to work up a sweat.
For the first time ever NHS South West Essex primary care trust is investing money into play equipment – ploughing £3million into its 21st Century Playground scheme.
All 161 schools across the South West Essex area will receive funding to build their own playground, which features climbing walls, stage areas, tyre swings and assault course style equipment.
One of the key drivers in the initiative is Head of Health Improvement NHS SW Essex, Melody Williams who stands at the forefront of many initiatives that the NHS are spearheading.