People in Bury St Edmunds become cover stars for exercise campaign

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A CAMPAIGN which uses the faces of people in Bury St Edmunds was launched today to inspire others to get more active.

Active St Eds, launched by Abbeycroft Leisure and supported by St Edmundsbury Borough Council, Suffolk County Council, NHS suffolk, and Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust, aims to raise awareness of the impact exercise can have on people’s quality of life.

It features ten individuals or families as ‘cover stars’ on a new ‘Inspire Me’ poster campaign, and in a film which will be premiered at this year’s St Edmundsbury Sports Awards.

Among them is Jennifer Blenkiron, a horse riding instructor from Euston who was on crutches for four months and told she may never ride again after having a hip replacement.

She was referred to the Inspire 4 Life exercise programme at Abbeycroft Leisure Centre, in Bury, and, after ten months of being out of action, she was finally able to ride again.

The 43-year-old said: “I couldn’t have got to where I am now without coming here.”

Ben Rowlinson, 35, from Bury, is also part of the campaign. He initially joined the gym to improve his fitness and reach his dream of achieving black belt in Ju Jitsu.

“I just wanted that extra edge,” he said.

Fifty-eight-year-old Karen Bowyer, from Risby, takes up to 14 hours of exercise classes a week to keep up with her four grandsons.

She said: “My motto is it doesn’t matter how small you start, there’s something for everyone.”

To help measure the success of the campaign, a new ‘Active Points’ scheme will be introduced where, from August, people will collect points every time they take part in an activity at Abbeycroft’s centres in Bury and Haverhill.

Every 100 points is equivalent to 75p and will be valid to redeem against High Street shops online and at around 400 High Street retailers.