EX-PREMIERSHIP referee Jeff Winter launched a healthy lifestyle campaign yesterday with schoolchildren.

The Teesside sports star took part in a fun-packed fitness session with pupils at Tilery Primary School, Norton, Stockton, to mark the launch of Tees Active's Active Start non-competitive programme.

The scheme, in conjunction with Stockton Council and the local health authority, includes a host of activities for primary and pre-school children, to encourage healthier lifestyles.

The Active Start programme is a fun approach to keeping children active at an impressionable time in their lives.

Big Lottery funding has been secured that will subsidise the programme to expand in the Portrack and Tilery areas of Stockton.

Tees Active's Active Life manager Gail McKenna said: "Our aim is to increase participation in activity.

"Tees Active has identified that not all children want to participate in sport, and our new activities focus on improving health in a non-competitive, fun environment.

"Our summer trial has proven to be massively successful and children are really enjoying the Active Start sessions."

Tees Active is having a come-and-try Active Start day on Sunday, at Billingham Forum. Parents and guardians also have the opportunity to come along to a number of fitness class workshops. For details, visit www.teesactive.co.uk