Just Move Trust Gets Westies Off The Couch
One in three adults and one in ten children in New Zealand are classified as obese. These are the latest alarming statistics from the Ministry of Health. And being overweight is often linked to long-term health issues including diabetes, heart disease and gout. However, Just Move Charitable Health Trust is doing something about it.
Just Move is the charitable arm of BBM Motivation. Founded by former professional boxer David Letele, also known as the Brown Buttabean, BBM Motivation promotes healthy and active lifestyles. Obesity is an increasing problem for Māori and Pasifika people. And so, BBM Motivation’s primary focus is on helping these communities get off the couch.
A recipient of $31,162 of funding from the Million Dollar Mission, BBM Motivation is now able to make an even bigger difference.
Just Move’s Ulalei Letele explains more: ‘We run 34 free boot camps in a range of venues throughout West and South Auckland. From local schools to church or community centres, we get up close to local people.
‘The boot camps cater to all ages, shapes, sizes, and fitness levels. There’s something for everyone, and the best part is it’s non-judgemental and supportive. And it’s a whole lot of fun.’
Many of the people who come along to BBM Motivation’s boot camps have never been to gyms or exercise classes before. Typically from households where cash is in short supply, they often can’t afford regular gyms. What’s more, low self-esteem, coupled with being overweight makes it harder for them to take that first step off the couch. BBM Motivation, however, offers a safe environment with others facing similar challenges.
The charitable trust is using the Million Dollar Mission funding to train and equip trainers to lead the sessions. Many of the trainers have been on a weight-loss journey themselves. As well as acting as motivational role models, they understand the difficulties participants are going through. And they know how to keep everyone on track.
Even the Covid-19 lockdown didn’t stop BBM Motivation. Throughout level 4 and level 3 lockdown, the organisation moved online and kept the programme running. At the time of writing, the schedule of classes is pretty much back up to full strength. Social distancing, contact tracing and increased hygiene measures are, however, in place to keep everyone safe.
BBM Motivation’s comprehensive programme is available at various locations, on different days and times. This means it’s accessible to everyone and there’s always a warm welcome on offer. According to Ulalei, sometimes three generations of the same family have attended the boot camps.
‘The support of the Million Dollar Mission will make a huge difference. It means we can have even more fully qualified trainers coming through the pipeline,’ says Ulalei.
And it also means BBM Motivation will be able to reach more people like Phil. Seriously overweight and suffering from poor health, Phil’s life was on a downward spiral.
‘I had zero self-confidence, and I wouldn’t go out to public places because I was ashamed to be seen and would always worry about people staring. I kept myself locked away from the world.’
After a spell in hospital and some stern words from his doctor, Phil came to BBM Motivation and hasn’t looked back since. In fact, he has stepped up as a trainer and now leads several boot camps.
‘I’ve lost 140kgs, and everything about my life has changed. It’s like I’m reborn again. I’m living my best life, and I’m loving it!’
If you would like to find out more about Just Move Charitable Health Trust and BBM Motivation, then check out their website. You will also find details on class timetables and enrolments.