Youngsters flock to Bay's fitness initiative
TORBAY'S aim to get teenagers trim has been a big success.
A progress reports shows that the council's Fit for the Future pilot scheme, aimed at encouraging youngsters to join a gym, has been enjoyed by as many as 1,112 people.
Suffolk, Newcastle, Bristol and Manchester are also involved in the scheme, but figures show Torbay is leading the way in recruiting young people to take part.
Cllr Dave Butt, Torbay Council's cabinet member for community services, said: "The statistics are extremely encouraging.
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"Sport England's Active People data has shown only one-in-three people aged 16 to 34 in Torbay undertake the recommended level of activity.
"It is acknowledged we need to do what we can to change lifestyles and attitudes.
"This pilot is proving to be a good way of achieving this, and I am particularly pleased such a high percentage of our recruits want to keep up their fitness regime."
Under the Fit for the Future pilot, which continues until April, areas of the country had the target of recruiting 1,000 people aged 16 to 22 years old to become members of gyms.
Eligibility criteria included doing less than 30 minutes of moderate intensive activity three times a week and never having had a leisure centre, sports club or gym membership.
The more often young people go to the gym, the cheaper their membership is.
A total of 1,112 young people in the Bay aged between 16 and 22 took up the offer of subsidised gym and leisure centre membership, with almost 700 still taking part after six months.
Debbie Stark, Torbay's director of public health, said: "It is fantastic Torbay has been part of this and is leading the way in such an innovative scheme.
"The scheme provides young people with choice and opens up new ways to exercise whichthey might not have considered or been able to do previously.
"Finding exercise which fits in with your daily routine and that you enjoy is a key part in living a healthy and active life.
"The Fit for the Future scheme gives young people a head start in making lifestyle choices which are right for them."
In Torbay, text and bluetooth messaging was used to make people aware of the initiative, backed by various means of publicity.
Fitness outlets involved in the programme include Torbay Leisure Centre, Brixham Leisure Centre, Riviera International Centre, Curves Ladies Gym, Castle Fitness, Torquay Community College and Paignton Community and Sports College.