By Chris Welsch
A series of coincidences led Pelle Plesner to teach an exercise class for obese children in a Copenhagen suburb, but that chance led to a new career.
He had been working as a spin-class instructor once a week, when he was asked to fill in at a class for kids. It was an eye-opening experience.
“I just really felt for these children and the problems they had, and their parents had pretty limited resources for helping them,” he says. “I thought, ‘I can do this, I can make a programme that would be successful and attractive for families.’”
In 2007, Pelle designed a multicomponent programme that provides twice-weekly exercise sessions, nutritional coaching and support for families, motivational coaching, and a variety of social events to help people support each other. His FitforKids, a non-profit organisation, is free for children and families. Volunteers teach the classes and track the progress of the children, making FitforKids a low-cost, effective programme, appealing to local governments keen to reduce the health problems and costs associated with obesity.