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'Teenage Kicks' still making the right moves 10 years on

By Jenny Kirkham

Published 07/05/2015

Preparing for the 10th anniversary showcase of 'Teenage Kicks' an alternative to school sports classes for young people.
Orlagh McBriarty, Patrick Connolly and Rachel ONeill.
Preparing for the 10th anniversary showcase of 'Teenage Kicks' an alternative to school sports classes for young people. Orlagh McBriarty, Patrick Connolly and Rachel ONeill.

Pupils in Belfast are still enjoying ‘Teenage Kicks’ 10 years after the programme was first introduced by Belfast City Council.

The idea of the Teenage Kicks scheme is to offer an alternative to school sports and they are celebrating the tenth anniversary with a showcase in Ulster Hall.

Up to 160 young people from schools including Belfast Royal Academy, De La Salle, Belmont PS, Harberton and Glenveagh schools are taking part in this year’s event on Thursday, 21 May.

‘Teenage Kicks’ was introduced as part of Belfast City Council’s strategy to encourage young people to be more active. It recognises that young people often turn away from traditional school sports in their teenage years and aimed to answer that problem by providing a fun activity that would encourage them to remain active.

Led by Energy Fitness guru, Freddy Kinnersley aka 'Fitness Freddy,' the young people perform high impact dance routines following six weeks of tuition - the teenagers become mentors and lead the younger children through their dance moves.

The roof-raising Ulster Hall finale gives the young performers the opportunity to showcase their moves while demonstrating the increased confidence and self-esteem which ‘Teenage Kicks’ encourages. The young people will take to the stage led by Patrick Connolly from De La Salle School an Irish Hip-Hop Champion, who will open the show.

The principal of Belmont PS, Olwen McIlroy, said:  “Being involved in Teenage Kicks has been a fabulous experience for our young pupils.  Not only do they have a very positive attitude to exercise and fitness but they have grown in confidence.’’

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