When Zoe Ward realised her young daughter was being picked on at school via social media she took decisive action.
Encouraging Ella to leave the house and get active, Zoe brought her along to her exercise classes she runs in Bexhill.
“My daughter was having trouble at school so it was about keeping her busy and not to think about it,” Zoe, from Fit and Fab Families Bexhill, explained. “She does all of my classes – Powerhoop, Clubbercise, piloxing…
“Ella was eight or nine when she started and it is now our little ritual and it is the only thing we have now that she is soon to be starting secondary school.
“It is such a good thing. Me and my daughter do not really argue, she is like my little friend.
“I do not want her sitting at home on social media,” Zoe added. “A lot of the girls live on TikTok and Instagram, but she is actually exercising with normal women and I like the fact she is seeing what real women are like rather than on Instagram.”
And it is not just her daughter she exercises alongside.
“I have an older son as well, he’s 13,” Zoe said. “If I feel like I am losing him I say let’s go for a walk or go to the gym. It always works – it is one thing we have in common. They like to keep active.
“You always end up laughing or joking.
“During lockdown me and my son went for a run around the block everyday and we would time ourselves and try to beat our score. Even now he likes to remember that.”
“Exercise is just magic.”
It was while Zoe was reflecting on the positive impact getting active was having on her children that she started analysing the classes she runs.
“I thought we were missing a trick. I am allowed to teach children and with Clubbercise I am allowed to have teenagers come at the same time as well.”
With this in mind, she introduced a payment scheme where a full paying adult only has to pay £1 to bring their child.
“It has become a real little community,” she said. “There are a few mums that now come with their children.”
Since starting these classes, Zoe and Ella have been approached by Powerhoop to come up with a mother and daughter workout for Powerhoop TV, which Zoe describes as ‘very exciting’.
Women in Sport has launched a campaign called #TimeTogether which is encouraging mums and daughters to spend more time together through getting active.
This follows research that has found six out of 10 teenage girls are not meeting physical activity guidelines of 60 minutes of activity per day.
You can find out more about the #TimeTogether campaign here.