A CWMBRAN woman has started a fitness class to help tackle anxiety and body confidence issues in memory of her best friend.

Claire Robathan, 29, from Cwmbran started Team Kotecha Dance Fitness after her best friend Lisa Matthews killed herself at the age of 29 last year.

"She suffered from low-self esteem and anxiety, we both did and we would help each other with it," said Miss Robathan.

In June 2018, she had an idea to help those with the same mental health issues her friend had and started a fitness class, as she knew the benefits of exercise.

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(Claire Robahtan (left) with her best friend Lisa Matthews (right))

“Everyone dances in their bedroom, and dancing makes me feel better,” she said.

Miss Robathan is a qualified teacher in the further and higher education sector, using her services to sign-post those in her class to services that could help with any issues they might be facing.

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(Claire Robathan who started Team Kotecha Dance Fitness)

“A lot of the girls say that these classes help them with their confidence, and that they fit in here,” she added.


“The classes are more like a community. we are all friends and can talk to one another and when you're lonely it's hard to feel empowered.

“I don’t want another girl in the same position my best friend was in.

“Someone might start at the back of the class, but eventually will move forward with the confidence they have gained.”

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(Team Kotecha at one of their classes)

In order to encourage others to join the class, Miss Robathan asks current members to upload a video of themselves to Facebook discussing why they joined and how the classes have helped them.

"It's more than just fitness," she said.

"The class is getting people to talk about their mental health and everyone is there for the same thing."

Miss Robathan also volunteers at a range of events in Torfaen, and runs classes to raise money for different charities, such as Mind Cymru.

The group were also finalists at the Welsh Fitness Awards 2019.