“We must protect our children”:  the Rotherham community group striving to prevent childhood obesity

by | Nov 1, 2023

Image: Group picture of children (credit: Titans Community Foundation)

In a bid to reduce childhood obesity rates, a charity in Rotherham has provided over 3000 hours of coaching to 3000 children in the last year.

Titans Community Foundation, founded in 2005, is a charity organisation that works with Rotherham Titans RUFC in the aim of promoting rugby and healthy active lifestyles to children in primary schools.

The Chair Of Trustees of the foundation, Lindsay Jones, 66, said: “We work with children who are essentially bottom of the pile in terms of they are the most disadvantaged group of kids in society.

“This means they may not have the right environment to help maintain a healthy active lifestyle. 

“We all know Rotherham has one of the highest rates of obesity amongst adults, not only in this region, but probably in this country and we must protect our children and ensure the next generation do not fall into that category.”

A rugby exercise organised by Titans Community Foundation

A 2020 report found that 71.2% of Rotherham is overweight or obese, 10% higher than the national average.

The group offers a range of different activities including educational programmes in health and wellness which aim to give children transferable knowledge and help them maintain a healthy and active lifestyle. 

Mrs Jones said: “We often have children who are very eager to learn new skills that can help them later on when they decide to go to secondary school and further on.

“This is the main initiative we strive for since part of our organisation focuses on the sport rugby we have a good basis in terms of the level of activity we can offer.

 “One of our rugby players is a qualified nutritionist who works with the charity and he has designed an app which helps our children track what they eat alongside their activity levels.”

According to Mrs Jones, the biggest challenge the group faced was finding an investor willing to donate enough money to run the activities and events.

credit: Titan Community Foundation

The leader of the trustees is adamant that the financial books this year are healthier than they have ever been. 

The foundation is funded by various private sector groups, across the year the community hosts different fundraising events.