A good fit for teenagers

Heather Brooke watches son Brad exercise with help from Julia Hendley of Belmont Oasis Leisure Centre.
Heather Brooke watches son Brad exercise with help from Julia Hendley of Belmont Oasis Leisure Centre.

She was relieved when doctors said his heart was fine but further testing revealed other serious challenges to Brad’s health.

‘Because he so overweight he had to keep active and adjust his lifestyle,’ she said after he was diagnosed with high cholesterol and non-alcoholic liver cirrhosis.

‘I approached Belmont Oasis Leisure Centre but they said at the time they didn’t have anything.’

Three months ago, the leisure centre launched the Teen Fit program to help teens like Brad.

Assistant centre manager Julia Hendley said she looked at a program PMH offered to children aged 8 to 12 years to help high-risk children overcome obesity and its related diseases.

‘The program teaches them about exercise and nutrition and helps these children get their health back on track,’ she said.

‘The problem was that they graduated from the program at the age of 12 and found they had nowhere to go to continue their journey.

‘This wasn’t acceptable to me so I went about putting together a structured program ” Teen Fit ” which enabled these kids to continue their new health and fitness journey.

Redcliffe’s Brad Brooke, now 15, joined the Teen Fit program when it launched.

‘Things are going good; he hasn’t put extra weight on and will have checks soon to see if it has helped his cholesterol,’ Ms Brooke said.

‘He’s turning his life around. He was asleep by day and at night would play computer games, but now he’s out in the community more.

‘The program is local, is affordable and I could not ask for a better team to work with Brad.’

For $10 a week, the program allows children aged 13 to 16, or 12 if referred by PMH, to use the health club and pools between 4pm and 6pm every day of the week.

‘On Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays we have a class tailored to their needs and fully instructed,’ Ms Hendley said.

‘On weekends they have access to the facility from open to close.’

Three children are participating and PMH will soon refer program graduates.