TEENAGERS who are struggling to keep active, eat well and reach a healthy weight are being encouraged to join Fit Teen Club.

Run by Hillingdon Council, FTC offers expert advice on nutrition and exercise to 13-16s who would like to change their lifestyles for the better.

Young people commit to the club for 12 weeks, attending sessions once a week.

Over the past 12 months, 54 teenagers have completed the course. They are referred to FTC by GPs, schools, parents and social services, and they can also sign up themselves.

Rikayer Styles, 16, from Hillingdon, joined Fit Teen Club in 2013. Since then, she has lost weight and joined the police cadets.

“My mum thought it would be good for my fitness, so I decided to try it,” she said.

“My fitness was really bad and I used to get out of breath, but it’s improved a lot since coming here.

“At first I was shy, but when I started to get to know people I felt more comfortable, and it has built up my self esteem as well.

“We play badminton, tennis, tag rugby, basketball, and dodgeball, and we do nutrition sessions as well.

“It’s really helpful because you can watch what kind of food you’re eating, and see how much sugar is in fizzy drinks like Coca-Cola, how much grease is in fast food.”

Fit Teen Club is held at Botwell Leisure Centre in Hayes on Mondays from 4-6.30pm and at Hillingdon Sports and Leisure Complex in Uxbridge on Wednesdays also from 4-6.30. The next course begins in September but places can be booked now.

Email sportsdev@hillingdon.gov.uk or text SPORT and Fit Teen to 80800 for more information.