TES Get Active

18th June 2004 at 01:00
Surf's up and Jim Britzman gets on board

How do you keep fit?

I live five minutes' drive from the beach at Whitsand Bay, so from Easter onwards I go surfing with my two sons. I also run two youth football teams, so in the winter it's training and matches with them.

What got you started?

When my boys started surfing they needed someone to go with them and take all the equipment. So I thought I'd give it a try. Now they're a bit older they go on their own - and I spend more time on the football. One of my teams won the league this year.

Why surfing?

Living this close to the sea, it would be churlish not to use it.

How do you make time?

It's not easy. It can be a bit hectic, but you have to remind yourself that anything worthwhile takes time.

Have you felt the benefits?

It's important to make the most of where you live. Surfing is about enjoying the area, being active, and making friends. But as a knock-on effect, it helps me relate to the children in school, and make a link with their own experience. I use it for assemblies and for teaching life skills, such as water safety.

Any downsides?

Getting the kit down to the beach and back, and hosing down the wetsuits can be a bit of a chore.

How active are your colleagues?

There's lots of enthusiasm for all kinds of activities. We've been involved in dance festivals, for example, as well as team and water sports. There's a lot of encouragement for trying out new things.

Healthy hint?

Make use of your children. If they fancy trying something, join in with them. You might end up liking it.

Jim Britzman, 46, is deputy head of St Andrew's CE primary school, Plymouth. For tips on personal fitness go to: www.tes.co.ukgetactive

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