Live it and get active. ‘LIGA’ was founded in 2017 by Gurmeet Singh and Matthew Jenkinson. In 2016, Gurmeet and Matty both met at a graduate internship, after graduating from Teesside University, 3 months prior with degrees in sport. On the internship, their roles required them to help improve sports in the community, which included working with schools.
Gurmeet and Matty quickly noticed that there was a real lack of education around fitness and nutrition amongst children in primary schools, and the diversity of sports offered was limited. Recognising a clear need for improvement, they devised a simple exercise and lifestyle improvement programme adapted to all ages in primary schools. The programme was piloted for free in five primary schools and immediately received high praise from the schools. Some schools were willing to fund the programme to keep it going. This is were LIGA started. At the time, Teesside University business school’s Launch Pad was offering a 12-week business start-up mentoring programme called ‘FUEL’ with the opportunity to pitch for funding at the end. Both Gurmeet and Matty thought it was a good opportunity to enrol in the programme during the internship. Fuel helped the idea develop into a fully functional business (CIC) that would help support the wider community.
At the end of the fuel programme, the graduates both pitched for funding, competing against 12 other businesses. The funders really understood the idea and loved the passion and motivation displayed by Gurmeet and Matty, and they decided to fund the business with £5,000 to help it start up. Since then, LIGA has rapidly grown, now offering over 15 different sports and working with over 2,000 children weekly in over 20 schools across Teesside. LIGA has funded thousands of pounds to help provide activities and free food to children through the school holidays, as well as provide job opportunities to graduates in sports. Live it and Get Active will continue to work to improve the provision of PE, fitness, and nutrition education in primary schools and continue to help children develop a fit and healthy lifestyle that can be passed on to the next generation. Our mission is to help young people build good habits in exercise and lifestyle at an early age.