A St Albans Primary School is aiming to create a healthier community – and it’s spreading the message to parents first.

As part of Active April, St Albans Meadows Primary School is encouraging its parents to adopt a healthy lifestyle as a way of teaching their pupils about the benefits of regular exercise and good food.

The school has had a gym for the past five years for parents to use during school hours.

Principal Stephen Crockford said the gym’s success was a feather in the school’s cap.

“We try to promote an active lifestyle to the kids all the time, but this gym has been a hit with the parents,” Mr Crockford said.

“We’re trying to change the culture of our parents to become role models to their children … we’ve got a steady group of parents who are using it regularly and getting fit. There’s now a little parent group with ideas of doing aerobic classes or starting a walking club, so we’re looking at things from a different perspective.”

Mr Crockford said giving parents autonomy over what they wanted to get out of the gym was the key to its success and educating the students to stay active.

“It’s got to be an organic process, where the parents grow it and own it and we support it,” he said.

“The response has been really good … we have a lot of parents that will drop the kids off and then do a workout, which is great.

“We had one mum who lost about 30 kilograms. She said this gym basically saved her life, so that’s fantastic feedback to hear.”