A TRAINEE paramedic has set herself a marathon exercise challenge to encourage others to become more active.

Married mum Kate Walsh, 38, from Hoole, who works as a trainee paramedic in Northwich and Winsford, aims to take part in more than 50 specialised exercise classes at different Brio Leisure’s centres across west Cheshire.

“So far I’m nearly half way. I have a spreadsheet at home and am ticking them off one-by-one. The idea began after years of doing the same routine of classes. I’d look at other classes but some looked scary and I thought they weren’t for me.

“Every time I complete another class it gives me more confidence and I feel better about myself,” said Kate, who has an eight-year-old son with her teacher husband Kevin.

Kate decided to try a new class and encouraged by friends set herself a new goal.

“I said to myself I wanted to try all the different classes at all the different centres. Some classes look hard but when you try them they are not so bad. Some can be tough and really exhausting but so far nothing’s killed me,” she added.

Kate is currently nearing the end of a two-year course studying to be a paramedic at John Moores University in Liverpool, alongside her role as an emergency medical dispatcher for the North West Ambulance Service.

She’s worked in the service’s Northwich control room for five years taking and responding to 999 calls.

She also volunteers as an instructor with St John’s Ambulance Service in Winsford and helps people with mental health issues as a volunteer with charities such as MIND.

“I have quite a stressful life. I am a full time student with a part time job, a full time mum and also do voluntary work. Keeping active and doing exercise is great for de-stressing and building energy – in fact if I didn’t exercise regularly I think I would struggle to do everything else I do,” she said.

Since starting the challenge Kate has also enlisted the support of other friends to join in.

“My favourite classes are Aqua Fit and Clubbersise, so far my least favourite has been Metafit because it was really intense. I did it with a friend and we panted all the way through. I was dripping with sweat but I survived,” she said.