Get fit sessions help children find confidence and a healthy lifestyle
A NATIONAL drive to improve the health and fitness of young people is being spearheaded in Huddersfield.
The Young Pals scheme aims make youngsters more active, eat more healthy foods and have a better lifestyle.
Physical activity development officer Charlotte Crabtree explained: "My goal is to get children more active, more often to help them feel better about themselves."
Young people who attend take part in a whole range of activities including rock climbing, trampolining and dance.
They learn about being physically active every day as well as getting advice on healthy eating, home activities and information about playschemes, sport centres and groups.
Charlotte said: "Young people with weight issues may be suffering from self image problems, or they could be bullied at school.
"At Young Pals sessions they are with children like themselves. They are not in a threatened environment. They feel a sense of belonging and can be involved in activities at a level they can enjoy. They soon learn that nothing is impossible for them."
The sessions for Young Pals - which stands for Practice Activity Leisure Scheme - are held at Huddersfield Sports Centre during the week with monthly "Meltdown" events on Sundays.
The scheme, which has been running since 2003 is developing all the time and plans are underway to expand activities to areas across Kirklees including Newsome, Dalton and the Holme Valley.
It is run through Kirklees Active Leisure with support from dieticians from the Huddersfield and Calderdale NHS Trust. Currently around 85 youngsters are involved in the scheme in South Kirklees.
Charlotte is passionate about the scheme and the benefits which young people receive at sessions.
"One young man went from having a negative self image, saying he had no friends and was no good at sport, to discovering he was good at rugby, was more positive about himself and finding new friends. Him saying thank you to Pals is the best motivation we can get" she added.
More details on Young Pals from the Young Pals team on 01484 234096.