IS it a bird? Is it a plane? No, it’s Peeblesshire’s very own sporty superheroes.

And putting these terrific toddlers through their paces is a lady who has more spring in her step than Josie Jump from Balamory!

Cardrona’s Laura Chrystie is the third person to take the reins of the Sporty Kids club, formed a decade ago by Lydia Brown who ran it for four years before emigrating to New Zealand.

It was then in the capable hands of Kate Thomson for five years, who passed the baton onto Laura, now celebrating her first year teaching pre-schoolers from all over the county.

The mum-of-two was no stranger to Sporty Kids, having joined in sessions with her children Elena and Morgan when they were toddlers. But teaching children sports isn’t anything new to Laura, having previously taught PE in primary and secondary schools.

“Teaching a group of toddlers is fun,” said Laura.

“They are all so sweet and I get lots of smiles and cuddles when they arrive. I’ve built up such a lovely rapport with them all. They are all very enthusiastic and full of beans, so the class works well to channel their energy and learn new skills. It’s lovely to see them explore different equipment and develop movement skills whilst developing their confidence.”

Sporty Kids has gone from strength to strength, as word of Laura’s larger than life personality and the fun she brings to each session spreads through Peeblesshire, resulting in a waiting list of sporty toddlers eager to start classes.

And it was the laughter from the community centre that caught the attention of a community champion, who is now joining the action.

Laura explained: “Pauline Weir from Tesco was down helping at the fitness and lunch club which takes place after my class. She liked what she saw and asked if she could come along and watch what I do. She watched the session one week and loved it, and said it is a great community service.

“We looked into getting funding through the Tesco Bags for Life scheme, to allow me to get more equipment and put on more classes as my waiting list is huge. But I don’t qualify as I’m not a charity. “

Undeterred, Pauline decided she could help in another way – so she rolled up her sleeves and donned her trainers for a more hands on approach, assisting Laura with Monday classes.

“Pauline’s help has been great, she has slotted in brilliantly. Tesco kindly provide tea, coffee and biscuits for parents at my sporty days, as well as the medals, certificates and treats for the children.”

The help didn’t stop there, with Innerleithen Rotary Club donating funds which went towards new equipment.

And the Sporty Kids of Peeblesshire have also attracted some very special visitors, with the Scottish Club International Rugby Team popping in along with their coach Rob – who just happens to be Laura’s husband!

Parents say Laura has brought the children out of their shell with her dynamic and fun approach to sports skills, notably improving co-ordination and confidence.

Laura is passionate about getting children involved in sport.

Speaking of her current recruits, she said: “Some of them are quite shy when they first join and won’t attempt skills or hold my hand to help them jump. As they get more comfortable they allow me to help them perform all the skills, and it’s lovely to see them grow in confidence. And of course there are plenty of high-fives once they’ve finished each task.”