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Scotland international athlete Kenny Wilson is Moray's very own Joe Wicks by inspiring the area to keep fit and active during the coronavirus lockdown

By Craig Christie

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Kenny Wilson hosts his Facebook workout at his Craigellachie home.
Kenny Wilson hosts his Facebook workout at his Craigellachie home.

INTERNATIONAL runner Kenny Wilson is inspiring Moray to be safe and active at home by posting online exercise videos - just like TV Body Coach Joe Wicks.

The craze for YouTube and Facebook workouts is proving popular during the coronavirus lockdown by encouraging people to remain indoors and still enjoy some fitness and fun.

And if Moray was looking for a homegrown role model to lift their spirits, there's no-one better than Craigellachie-based Wilson, who has run for Scotland in international marathon, half marathon and 10k races.

Wilson (30) has teamed up with Moray Council's Active Schools and Sport in Moray programme to do their own version of the 'PE with Joe' sessions which have been keeping the nation in motion.

Their first video went online this afternoon, after an introductory session posted last Thursday earned more than 7,000 views.

Wilson explained: "I was posting a few silly workout videos and challenges on my Facebook and Instagram.

"I then spoke to Rosalyn (Carruthers) from Active Schools, who were just asking if I’d be up for doing some workouts online for the kids and the families during this lockdown.

"It sounded like a great idea and I was really chuffed that they asked me to do it so I thought I would give it a go and see if I could get a following and get more people doing it.

"We did a wee introduction on Thursday and it was awesome. I couldn’t have had a better response from it and hopefully the workout video will get the same.

Kenny Wilson has raced international for Scotland over three distances.
Kenny Wilson has raced international for Scotland over three distances.

"The most important thing is everyone staying safe so if this can keep people at home and keep them healthy at the same time then it’s a good thing.

"We can all play a part to not just keep ourselves safe but keep friends, family, neighbours safe as well. If we all just play a little part ourselves then hopefully we can get through everything as best we can.

Wilson is part of a Scotland marathon running programme and a training stint in Portugal he was doing last month had to be cut short when the lockdown was announced by the UK government.

The Speyside distillery worker was then furloughed by his employers, while his regular gruelling running sessions with coaches George and Carol Sim had to be put on hold for health and safety reasons.

Like the rest of the country, he can still venture outdoors for one daily, hour-long exercise.

But the frustration of not being able to do more has been tempered by his new video venture, which he says gives people an insight into the kind of exercises he does himself to prepare for long distance running.

"It’s a half hour session, a few minutes warm-up and a few minutes cooldown and a 21-minute block in the middle where it’s a really hard workout.

"I did a basic session to start with, including a bit of work for the whole body with press-ups, some squats, the plank, back raises - just basic exercises I do myself.

"We wanted to keep it to how I would work out so people get to see how we train for strength and conditioning as middle long distance runners.

"If it takes off anything like as well as Joe Wicks' have, that will be a good thing.

"I think he targets more primary school age and we wanted to make my one more specific to people doing sports already, but also making it adaptable for younger people or parents to join in as well.

"Hopefully with the variations within the session there’s enough for a big variety of people to be able to do it.

"The initial reaction was great, there seems to be a lot of interest from people wanting to do it and they seem excited about us posting stuff up on the page.

"I’m now keen for the second workout on Thursday."

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