Edgar Mascarenhas is a Bandra boy and former international level hockey player. He runs a fitness academy for kids called ‘E7 Fitness’. Having established himself in Bandra, he is branching out to other suburbs now.
How did the idea of Fitkids come about?
After my retirement from active playing, I have been a hockey coach at the national and grassroots level, running my Hockey Academy called Grassroots Initiative. The idea of having a fitness training for kids came to my mind, when my son was born, That is when I realised the urgent need for basic Fitness. Open spaces and the playgrounds had slowly disappeared since my childhood, and the lack of Physical Activity in Kids was rising at an alarming rate. My idea was to create an environment for kids to come, play, run and enjoy the simple things of life, which we as kids took for granted ( running and playing in the lanes), while giving the kids a solid fitness foundation. Our aim is to get children simply out of their homes and onto the playgrounds.
Many of the schools do not have the space for play and sport, which in these days maybe beyond their control. But what`s shocking is the lack of a proper PE program, with little or no emphasis on getting children Active for their Holistic development. Too many schools and parents are obsessed with academics, forgetting that a child is a child after all and needs to PLAY!!
2) Could you explain how your E7 Fitness classes are structured?
E7 Fitness batches are divided into levels, Basic, Intermediate, Advanced and High Performance with the focus on the 7 Essential Elements of fitness. Endurance, Strength, Speed, Agility, Flexibility, Balance and Stability, Coordination. Fitness is the cornerstone of any sport. You cannot play Sport without fitness ( more so nowadays, where it’s all about endurance, strength, power and speed) We concentrate on creating a strong base in Fitness from which kids can then diversify into a different sport. In India, fitness is the last aspect of training looked into while playing a sport. In a country like Australia, you may be the best soccer player, but if you do not pass the fitness tests ( even before you enter the soccer pitch) you do not make the team!! There in lies the difference.
To simply put it, our training is FUN, yet strenuous. We push kids to the limit, camouflaging training in a fun and positive environment.
Our two modules of training are
1. Sports Conditioning Program, creating a strong base in fitness and preparing kids for Sport.
2. High-Performance Program, to enhance performance through fitness in kids already playing competitive sport.
3) So what are the plans for E7 Fitness and what are the challenges you face when trying to grow?
We plan to take our fitness program all over Mumbai initially and then pan India, especially to the 2 tier cities. In fact, we are opening three new centres in Lower Parel, Dadar, Andheri E on the 15th and three more by the end of Sept. Our challenge is finding the right space ( ground) to start our fitness program, this we can overcome. But our primary challenge remains trying to convince people, especially parents, the importance of Fitness and living a healthy lifestyle which starts AT AGE 5 right till around 14/15; this is when we can mould our kids into a fighting fit future generation.
4) Do you plan to start a fitness class for adults?
We do offer some classes for adults, but my focus has always been on getting kids fit. We do have a Super High-Intensity Interval Training class at Temperance studio in the evenings, taken by yours truly, as well as Dance Fitness every day of the week in the morning.
For more details visit – www.e7fitness.com