Happy Feet hum­ble in awards nod

Southern Telegraph - - News - Ash­wini Saseedaran

The brain­child of a Se­cret Har­bour hus­band-and-wife team has reached new heights as their health and fit­ness pro­gram for kids — Happy Feet Fit­ness — has been an­nounced as one of six small busi­ness fi­nal­ists for this year’s Tel­stra Busi­ness Awards.

With a back­ground in chil­dren’s en­ter­tain­ment and ac­cred­ited fit­ness, Cam and Donna McColl be­gan their busi­ness 11 years ago to ed­u­cate and in­spire young chil­dren to make healthy choices.

The ini­tia­tive has now grown to 50 cen­tres Statewide and has also ex­panded na­tion­ally with 15,000 chil­dren par­tic­i­pat­ing in their pro­grams ev­ery week.

Mr McColl said mak­ing it to the fi­nals this year was a re­minder of the dif­fer­ence they had made in just over a decade.

“We are very ex­cited and it pushes up to con­tinue grow­ing, evolv­ing and adapt­ing,” he said.

“Happy Feet has a mas­sive im­pact on chil­dren’s health and well­be­ing — the in­ter­ac­tive, en­gag­ing and en­ter­tain­ing classes are de­signed to ed­u­cate kids in a fun way so they are ex­cited about health ed­u­ca­tion.”

The suc­cess of the McColl’s busi­ness had also lead to a DVD ver­sion of the classes in re­sponse to parents’ de­mand for a take­home ver­sion some years ago, and a pi­lot for a tele­vi­sion show has now been re­leased in hope of in­creas­ing au­di­ences.

“Our two to five-year-old de­mo­graphic is a sig­nif­i­cant stage for life­long learn­ing so we are do­ing ev­ery­thing we can to reach as many kids and fam­i­lies out there,” Mr McColl said.

“We are care­ful about grow­ing or­gan­i­cally and main­tain­ing in­tegrity in what we do . . . we just want to help as many kids as pos­si­ble.”

The win­ners will be an­nounced at a gala event on Thurs­day.

Donna and Cam McColl.

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