How 'The Body Coach' Joe Wicks inspired pupils with Edinburgh launch of schools tour

Edinburgh primaries open YouTube lockdown fitness star’s schools tour documentary.

Joe Wicks visited three Edinburgh primary schools at the start of his tour. Picture: Andy O'Brien.
Joe Wicks visited three Edinburgh primary schools at the start of his tour. Picture: Andy O'Brien.

Teachers at Edinburgh primary schools have paid tribute to fitness trainer Joe Wicks for inspiring their pupils with a visit which has been captured on film at the start of his British tour.

A year on, “The Body Coach” Wicks has become a lockdown sensation with his daily online PE classes on YouTube which have been viewed by up to 1 million families a day across the world.

He launched the tour in the capital at Granton Primary School, Victoria Primary School in Newhaven, and Currie Primary School, followed by Hamilton School for the Deaf in South Lanarkshire.

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They were among 17 schools selected from 18,000 which had applied to be part of The Body Coach Schools HIIT [High Intensity Interval Training] Tour.

The five-day event in March last year, to promote exercise amongst youngsters, involved a total of 12,000 pupils, teachers and parents.

Wicks described it as part of “my mission to get more kids active and to understand the incredible benefits of exercise – and that fitness can be fun”.

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Joe Wicks at Victoria Primary School in Edinburgh. Picture: Andrew O'Brien.

Laura Thomson, head teacher of Victoria Primary School, said a teacher, Ruth Cousins, had help secure the visit after using Wicks’ workouts with her class.

She recalled: “We all gathered in the playground ready for his arrival and the excitement was at fever pitch when Joe appeared.

“Joe has the knack of connecting with people straight away.

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“Within a couple of minutes, pupils, staff, parents and a few passers-by were involved in a cardio workout.

Joe Wicks training with 500 pupils at Victoria Primary School. Picture: Andrew O'Brien.

“Joe's knowledge and enthusiasm not only encouraged everyone to take part but he was passionate about explaining all the benefits of regular exercise.

“Very soon, we all felt we knew Joe and were swept along by his positive energy and drive.

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“His presence and passion have stayed with us, motivating our pupils to do regular exercise.

“I believe a lot more of our pupils have been taking part in his daily PE sessions during the lockdown because they still feel that personal connection to ‘Our Joe’.”

Granton Primary head teacher Shelagh Dow said: “There was a great buzz of excitement around the school in the lead up to Joe’s visit as children, families and staff took part in The Body Coach online workouts.

“On the day, the whole school and nursery were eagerly waiting outside to take part in a HIIT workout led by The Body Coach.

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“The children loved the experience as they had big smiles on their faces as they completed star jumps, high knees and mountain climbers alongside Joe.

“More importantly, The Body Coach helped us to spread the message to our children of the health and well being benefits of being active, such as feeling more energised, increased concentration and how it can even make us feel happier.

“We believe it is vital to instil these healthy habits in children from a young age and get children being active.

“What a difference a year makes – many of our children are now delighted to see The Body Coach as their PE teacher during the lockdown and have been joining in with his daily live workouts at home and in our hub schools.”

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