Nurturing self-esteem good for kids

Brooke Coulstock coaches her daughter Pru in the fun fitness program, 123FIT, developed for kids.
Brooke Coulstock coaches her daughter Pru in the fun fitness program, 123FIT, developed for kids. Kari Bourne

BROOKE Coulstock empathises with parents who have had to sit down at the dinner table and comfort a child distraught from yet another bullying episode.

She feels their pain because she has been there herself: as a parent and as the bullied child.

The scenario is a heart-breaking one - and Brooke wanted to do all in her power to prevent that scene playing out in other Sunshine Coast households in the future.

Brooke believes child obesity to be at the core of many bullying incidents, with Australian Bureau of Statistics figures showing one-in-four Australian children classed as overweight.

So the Sunshine Coast mother and qualified fitness instructor decided to develop the 123FIT program.

Brooke came up with the idea after witnessing her eight-year-old daughter Pru struggle with weight issues that led to bullying at school.

"It was hard watching my daughter go through something like that," she said.

"It got to the point where the bullying was going on in front of me, which was terrible."

She decided to take matters into her own hands to help her daughter overcome obesity and the ridicule that came with it.

Brooke spent a year honing the program with the help of her daughter before opening the classes to the public, which will coincide with the start of this school year.

"I'm a qualified fitness instructor and have a diploma in childcare so I've combined that knowledge to develop the program," Brooke said.

"I've used all my experience to make sure everything's fun and game orientated to make everyone feel included."

Brooke said the program had seen her daughter lose 8kg to become a much healthier and confident young girl.

"She went from strength to strength," Brooke said.

"The more she did, the better she got.

"With exercise, you're producing those endorphins and that gets you going and keeps you going.

"Her confidence went through the roof."

The 123FIT program focuses equally on physical activity and diet to help educate kids on the importance of exercise and healthy eating.

"I introduce how important it is to eat healthy by incorporating it into the games," Brooke said.

"It's quite subtle so they're not really aware they're learning it, but they are.

"We do it the healthy way."

Brooke hopes that by undertaking her program, the children will learn to build self-esteem and become confident young people.

"I just want the kids to build their self-confidence," she said.

Brooke said parents also needed to instil confidence in their children.

"Just let your kids know that they're perfect no matter what," she said.

The 123FIT classes start in first school term and are suitable for primary school students aged from prep to Year 7.

Classes will be held at Nambour Showgrounds twice a week.

For bookings, contact Brooke on 0404 073 619.

Topics:  bullying childhood obesity exercise healthy eating self-esteem

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