Friday, 6 June 2014

Happy volunteers' week!

It's the 30th anniversary of national volunteers' week and the number thirty is their theme. Volunteer Eric Ogbogbo is only 26 so he's a bit too young for that theme, but we'll let him off. Eric has always lived locally in Peckham, which is where he co-runs our Fit Foodie class at the Copleston Centre. He specialises in exercise physiology, and is keen to share his experiences with us.

How did you get involved with the Mini Cooking Club?

I got involved with MCC because I liked the work they were doing with teaching children about healthy cooking. The idea seemed fun and positive and because it was happening in my local area I thought I should get involved and add to the organisation with my expertise in exercise.

What's your favourite part of working with Club? 

My favourite part of working with the MCC is getting the chance engage with the children and seeing them have fun or learn something from the session. Its wonderful when a parent tells me their child has been talking to others about the class or that they have been really looking forwards to coming back. That is all the reward I need and makes it all worthwhile.

How important is it to take part in community activities?

I think we all have a duty to add to our community one way or another. We all have skills or experience that can aid others so it important that we are active in the community to make our society a better places to live in for ourselves, our friends and family going forwards. If we all treated others as we would like to be treated, the world would be a much better place.

How healthy is your lifestyle? Do you exercise regularly and cook from scratch?

I am an exercise physiologist and run my own health and wellbeing company so I have to be healthy but also it is just a part of my life. I teach people how to live healthily. It can be difficult to navigate with all the bad food and our busy lifestyles but there are simple things anyone can do ensure they exercise regularly and cook from scratch. Exercise should be fun so anything that gets you moving and your heart pumping which you enjoy is great, then food is at the centre of most cultures in the world. Cooking and eating is how we connect and celebrate, and express ourselves so we should look at preparing a meal as a meaningful event then enjoy the proceeds.

How do you come up with the activities for the children to do in the sessions?

I come up with the sessions by asking the children what they want to do the week before then deciding between a few options. I plan out the points I want get across to the children such as teamwork, the importance of cardiovascular fitness, etc then I try to incoporate it into the session. I try to make the sessions organic so I try to get input or decide what direction to take the session in from how the children are responding.

What's your best tip for living a healthy lifestyle?

My best tip for having a healthy lifestyle is; believe that you deserve to be healthy, be consistent and be organised.

Thanks, Eric!

Image: Eric and volunteer Andrew running a Fit Foodie exercise session for the Mini Cooking Club.

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