200 stone down with more to come

Jackie Liddle (centre) with Ann Marshall (right) and Vivienne Dempsey
Jackie Liddle (centre) with Ann Marshall (right) and Vivienne Dempsey

A PIONEERING health and wellbeing coach has made a novel new year’s resolution to build on her stunning statistics of single-handedly helping slimmers shed more than 200 stone in the past 12 months.

Never mind TLC this year could all be about WLC – Weight Loss Challenge.

At a time when obesity and health issues are topping local and national agendas the innovative Hartlepool Arriba! 12-Week Community Challenges have been proving the perfect recipe in Hartlepool.

Award-winning coach Jackie Liddle, who formed the innovative Hartlepool Arriba! Wellness Club, is hoping to up that tally in 2012 as people get to grips with weight and lifestyle issues.

The 12-week challenges have proved a huge hit across Hartlepool but the majority of them will now be centralised and run on consecutive evenings at the Avondale Centre, next to the newly-refurbished Dyke House School, in Mapleton Road.

The challenges focus on sustainable weight loss with cash prizes of £300, £200 and £100, depending on class sizes, for those losing the biggest percentage of body weight.

Scores of people have not only lost weight but improved their health, taken up exercise and even given up smoking.

Taxi driver Bill Hunter has lost more than 100lbs to date and is on track to hit his target of 140lbs – ten stone.

Slimming siblings Lisa Rush, 41, and Scott Rush, 46, lost more than a combined five stone in three months attending different challenges – initially unaware that either of them were doing it.

Student Amy Kennedy, 18, took the honours in her challenge after shedding a stone-and-a-half while studying for her A-levels.

Some who enrolled on classes to lose weight went on to train as health coaches and now run their own challenges under the guidance of Hartlepool Arriba! Wellness Club supremo Mrs Liddle.

They include Hartlepool borough councillor Ann Marshall, 52, who shed three stone in three months and dropped from a size 22 to a size 18.

Vivienne Dempsey, 45, a Childcare inspector, lost three stone at a challenge and will be joining Mrs Liddle and Mrs Marshall in running classes at the Avondale Centre.

Businessman Matt Matharu, 46, who lost almost four stone over two challenges, went on to train as a coach and now runs classes from Greystones in Elwick Road.

Jackie, who lives in the Bishop Cuthbert area of Hartlepool, said: “There are so many people who have done exceedingly well over more than one challenge.

“One lady lost 85lbs and another lost 70lbs. The list is endless.

“Over the last 12 months my classes have lost over 200 stones, which is staggering.

“Some of the class participants come to me to help them lose that stubborn final few pounds of their target while some come to me knowing they have a longer journey to achieve their health and wellness goals.

“But everyone is welcomed and supported throughout the challenge whatever their goal.

“We focus on healthy fat loss and not just weight loss but teach the difference so people get the added bonus of health and wellness.

“We have had to leave Brierton Community Sports Centre due to the school grounds now being closed and I can’t thank everyone there enough for helping to get Hartlepool Arriba! Wellness Club off the ground.”

Hartlepool Arriba! Wellness Club lived up to its community tag when Jackie arranged a challenge at leading waste management company Niramax to help raise money for the Mail’s Buy A Bus appeal.

Niramax bosses vowed to donate cash for every stone lost and a staggering £2,700 was raised and split between the appeal and a hospice charity.

The new classes will be taking place every Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday at the Avondale Centre.

The next new 12-week challenge starts on January 9. Challenges cost £39 and cover an initial class and the 12-week challenge.

Full details are available at j.liddle2@ntlworld.com or by calling 07939 518948.