Emma Atkinson

Emma has been a huge motivation and support for her clients who would ordinarily have attended classes at the Ipswich Fit leisure centres. Emma has a huge passion and drive for fitness, so when the closure of gyms and leisure facilities was announced by the government her world was turned upside down! Despite this, Emma managed to pick herself up and adapt quickly by setting up online Zoom workouts for her usual clients.

Emma went above and beyond to offer a whole range of classes suitable for all throughout the day. Emma has been described by some of her members as a "lifeline" and it is clear that she has helped a number of people come out of a very difficult place during such challenging times.

One client of Emma's is a nurse and she said:

"I Worked throughout the pandemic and having Emma's classes to look forward to kept me, and others, mentally and physically fit. There's nothing like a Clubbercise session after a tough shift!"

Emma also took the time to check in with her clients by regularly asking how everyone was and incorporating a group chat before her classes. She also used her platforms to share inspirational quotes and generally looked out for everyone's wellbeing.

"I'm not exaggerating when I say I'm not sure how I would have coped without Emma and her classes during lockdown. She has helped my mental and physical health enormously and I'm sure that is true of others who have been doing her classes."

Further comments from those that nominated Emma really highlight the wider impact her efforts had on all of her participants health and wellbeing, one person said:

"Her workout classes have made me more motivated and determined to meet my fitness goals and helped to structure lockdown!"

The exercise, support and social interaction was essential in supporting some get through such challenging times, especially as a key worker. One participant said:

"I have a stressful job and would normally relax by going to the gym or running but with gyms being closed and my running on hold due to hay fever exacerbating my asthma I wasn't sure how I would relax and keep fit. Emma has given me the chance to exercise 5-6 times a week without breaking lockdown guidance, keeping me healthy and helping me unwind. My husband has joined me for some of the classes too and also feels better for keeping active. I am aware of the mental health benefits of exercise and I realised how true this was during the pandemic."

Well done Emma, it is clear that you are truly deserving of the Lockdown Activity Hero title!