Teens keen to inspire change

MAKING a difference in the health of the community is the aim of these keen teenagers’ game.

Ben Smith, 18, and Tristan Summerhayes, 17, both picked up scholarships to complete fitness courses through the Port Macquarie-Hastings Council’s Aboriginal Move, Eat, Live Well program.

Kicking off the first two weeks of classes at the North Coast Institute of TAFE’s campus in our town, the boys aspire to change attitudes towards health and fitness.

Obesity is a major issue in the Hastings, they agree.

“People watch too much TV, eat too much fast food and sit at a computer too long,” Mr Summerhayes said.

Mr Smith urged all residents to try their hardest to reach a fitness goal.

“Don’t hold back. Go for gold,” he said.

Mr Smith finished his Higher School Certificate last year at Newman Senior Technical College and Mr Summerhayes completed year 11 at Westport High School.

Both will study Certificate III and IV of fitness at the TAFE.

They will also receive additional training in the Heart Moves program through the Heart Foundation.

After a year of study, the students will be qualified fitness instructors and will be provided with mentoring and support to run Heart Moves programs in the community.

Mayor Peter Besseling said the partnership program provides a perfect opportunity to increase the capacity of young local Aboriginal people to directly influence and support the health and wellbeing of their community.

 The Aboriginal Move  Eat Live Well program is funded through the Indigenous Chronic Disease Fund from the Australian Government, and is run through Port Macquarie-Hastings Council. 

The program aims to increase awareness of chronic disease prevention, promote healthy lifestyles and improve health of those living with chronic disease.

To find out more go to www.pmhc.nsw. gov.au/livewell

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