By Lauren Paterson
The Zumba dance craze is set to hit Edinburgh this weekend with the Worlds Biggest Zumbathon taking place at the Royal Highland Centre, Ingliston on Sunday.
Organised by and in aid of Scottish care charity Quarriers, the event has been endorsed by Zumba, the registered organisation behind the workout craze, and is part of a Guinness world record-breaking attempt for the most people doing Zumba for 30 minutes.
Inspired by Latin dance, the routines feature interval training sessions where fast and slow rhythms and resistance training are combined to tone and sculpt your body while burning fat.
Zumba is currently being taught at over 60 000 locations in 105 countries with 7.5 million participants taking classes every week.
David Lowe, who teaches zumba classes in Edinburgh as one half of The Zumba Boys, said why he thinks it has become so popular in recent years:
“It’s not like having an instructor shouting left and right at you. It’s a great way to have fun and to get fit, with a great party atmosphere”.
The Zumba Boys will be two of the official Zumba instructors on hand to show people exactly what to do and people of all fitness levels are invited to take part.
The event will take place simultaneously at the Gorbals Leisure Centre in Glasgow.
As one of Scotland’s largest social care charities, Quarriers provide care and support for thousands of vulnerable children, young people, adults and families. They hope to have up to 1000 people taking part across the country.
Participants can register for the event at http://www.quarriers.org.uk or by calling 01505-610 017 and help raise as much money as possible.
An Edinburgh-based soldier is to receive a medal for heroism after saving his commander and fellow troops while on duty in Afghanistan.
Lance Corporal James McKie, 29, who serves with 3rd Batallion The Rifles based at Redford Barracks, was commended for showing “utter selflessness”. He threw a live hand grenade back at his attackers and suffered fragmentation injuries when the weapon exploded in mid-air.
He said: “It was dropping down into the alleyway before it detonated. As I continued to watch it, as you are trained to, I received fragmentation in my face and right arm.”
He was one of a number of Edinburgh based soldiers to be named in the Operational Honours List released today by the Ministry of Defence. The list includes two riflemen who lost their lives while on the six month tour of Helmand Province.
Lieutenant Colonel Nick Kitson, who commands 3rd Battalion The Rifles, has been awarded the Distinguished Service Order and was praised for improving safety and tackling corrupt officials in Sangin, Helmand. Thirty of his troops died during a seven-month tour, but Lieutenant Colonel Kitson is said to have, “demonstrated indomitable leadership throughout”.
A total of 131 members of the armed forces are to be awarded medals for actions during the period 1 October 2009 to 31 March 2010.
Defence Secretary, Liam Fox, has said the awards reflected incredible bravery and spoke of the courage of our armed forces:
“Each of these awards highlights the extraordinary courage and incredible bravery that is displayed by our service personnel. Our armed forces are the best in the world and those recognised today should feel extremely proud of their actions.”
Troops from Redford and Dreghorn barracks in the capital returned from a gruelling tour in April. The 4th Mechanized Brigade took over from 11 Light Brigade in April as the UK’s lead formation in Helmand province.