#3 – Tackling The Obesity Epidemic – Gail Ganney MD of the GoTech Group


     Gail Ganney

“We want to change the mindset of a generation, for it to become part of their DNA that they need to move more, watch their sugar intake, and what they eat, without making it a boring subject. It should be something that comes naturally, which is what this programme aims to do.”

Gail’s professional origins are in civil engineering and she has spent the last 20 years as an entrepreneur/investor in a number of businesses and sectors but has dedicated the last several years to businesses which promote health and well-being.

Gail is founder and CEO of Sportsdata Limited, which partnered with the Youth Sport Trust, to develop and deliver an innovative whole child development programme into primary schools to help change the mindset of the next generation in terms of health and well-being and aims to strike at the heart of today’s obesity crisis.

Gail is also Managing Director of GoTech Group Plc, which is dedicated to businesses that use technology to improve activity, health and awareness for healthy active lifestyles.

Her expertise is in building young companies, creating teams and developing high level strategy in the technology and well-being sector.

I speak to Gail in detail about some of the shocking health statistics of young children across the country, the global crisis of obesity, and how Sportsdata and GoTech are aiming to play a key role in improving global health and wellbeing outcomes, by creating technology which boosts participation, encourages engagement and drives improvement.

What this episode has in store for you

“GoTech focuses on the development and commercialisation of sport, health and wellbeing technology-related businesses. To achieve this, we are building a group of technology-focused companies that operate in the fields of sports, health and wellbeing.”

“Our flagship company, Sportsdata, is focused on improving the health and wellbeing of children in schools.  It has developed a ground-breaking school programme, skills2achieve, which is helping primary schools across the UK to tackle childhood obesity and change the outcomes of an entire generation, by changing the way they view activity and food intake as part of a healthy lifestyle.”

“My passion was children and healthy active lifestyle and my background was engineering and technology. It was kind of a no brainer to put the two together. I had noticed there was a real challenge with delivery of PE, which consequently limited the amount of activity time that children had in primary schools.”

“The National statistics are that 19% of 4-year-olds are overweight or obese when they start primary school. When they leave at age 11, 33% of them are in this category.”

“GoTech provides a technology solution for teachers, allowing them to add children’s active achievements into a database and easily pull reports. It’s not all about sport, though, which I think is the most important point to get across. Where I might love sport, a lot of people are terrified by sport in primary school. What we want is a healthy, active lifestyle for every child, irrespective of whether they want to play on the football team or not.  Our ambition is to have over 18,000 primary schools participating in this programme”

“The programme built around four themes: social me, healthy me, thinking me and physical me.”

“I’m a passionate believer that it doesn’t matter what background you’re from, life isn’t fair sometimes and not everyone has the privilege of a health and social education at home so for me, the primary school environment is the only level playing field that we’ve got to give every child a chance of giving them the right education in their life going forward. “