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Joe Wicks leads pupils from Orleans Park School through a workout

Body Coach Joe Wicks keeps nation active in lockdown from his Richmond home

By Emma Lindsay
April 17 2020, 19.56

Joe Wicks became the world’s P.E. teacher as his online lessons grew to reach a global audience since the start of lockdown.

Richmond resident Joe, 33, has been doing shout-outs to people all over the world as he broadcasts his daily #PEwithJoe lessons live from his living room every morning at 9am.

The 33-year-old started his fitness classes on Monday March 23, the first school day after schools were closed across the UK and since then more than 6million people across the world have streamed his first lesson on YouTube.

Joe Wicks, also known as The Body Coach, began posting quick and healthy meals on Instagram in 2014 and quickly built a huge following of fans devoted to his ‘Lean in 15’ recipes and his HIIT workouts that can be done from home.

The father-of-two, who once worked as a teaching assistant, has been focused on keeping kids active for several years and visited Orleans Park School in Twickenham in 2017 to promote the Body Coach School Fitness Week.

Head of P.E. at Orleans Park, Clare Kemp said: “Joe told us we had the best job in the world being P.E. teachers. He said it was his dream job.”

Ms Kemp and other teachers across the UK have been using his lessons to keep their students active in isolation.

Ms Kemp said: “The kids are doing it with their family or face-timing their friends who are doing it at the same time, which makes it really fun.”

When Joe visited Orleans Park, he spent time asking Ms Kemp and her colleague about the national decline in student fitness and what they do to encourage students to keep active.

Ms Kemp said: “We have seen a decline in fitness levels of students who arrive in Secondary School, so any improvements in the amount of exercise that people are doing is just a great thing.”

The Body Coach takes his role as teacher seriously, setting homework for his students and posting their work on his Instagram account, most recently asking children to write a letter or poem describing how they feel after exercise.

While Joe’s P.E. lessons were started with school pupils in mind, adults looking for ways to stay occupied indoors have been joining in whether they have kids or not.

Public figures such as Jess Phillips MP have posted photos on their social media of their families taking part, and medical professionals have praised the Body Coach for providing such an important service to the nation.

Physical activity clinical champion for Public Health England Dr Laura Jarvie said: “I think Joe Wicks deserves a knighthood for the brilliant work he’s doing keeping kids active while they are isolating at home.”

Dr Jarvie, 37, added: “As a mum of three boisterous and energetic children, I can tell you his routines are fun for kids of all ages, even big ones like me.”

Joe announced last week that all the advertising revenue from P.E. with Joe videos would be donated to the NHS for the duration of the coronavirus crisis.

He is keeping his videos fresh and engaging, playing ‘Spot the difference’ in his living room and most recently completing his workout in a Spider-man costume for Fancy-dress Friday.

Joe Wicks the Body Coach is on YouTube weekdays at 9am.

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