This is the second year that Senior Constable Harmer from PCYC with the assistance of Kamahl Barhoush from KAMS Health & Fitness has run the Know Your Body Program, which is sponsored by the NSW Dept of Sport and Recreation.
Two years ago Senior Constable Harmer wrote a program that focused on young people learning more about how their bodies function. This was achieved by creating an environment that would keep their interest and at the same time increase their fitness levels.
The program was a success in 2007 and was modified and run again in 2008.
The young people involved have in the past 6 months learnt about how their bodies function and what negative effects drugs and alcohol have on their bodies. They have also increased their knowledge on food types, food preparation and understanding nutrition levels by reading labels on foods packs.
While doing this, the young people involved have gained a certificate in fitness and obtained a Bronze Star Lifesaving Award NSW Royal Life Saving association. This was achieved by attending the TAS pool and conducting a number of activities. These included a timed swim, throwing and retrieving different objects, performing a defensive swim for rescuing, and the most entertaining was watching the youth swim a certain distance while fully clothed.
Kamahl Barhoush from KAMS Health & Fitness has been there every step of the way, helping the young people to achieve their set goals and organising the certificates for what they have achieved. Kam’s expertise and his ability to work with young people have been invaluable to the program.
As a reward for achieving the set goals of the program, the young people went on a day trip to Coffs Harbour with Senior Constable Harmer and Kamahl Barhoush. First stop was the Bongil Bongil National Park, where the young people were taken on a Indigenous bush tucker bush walk and learnt about the Indigenous history of the land that they were on, plants that were edible and other bush survival skills. Then the group set off to the Big Banana, where everyone enjoyed the water slides and the tobogganing.
An aspect of the program has been an incentive for the young people involved to attend school. The program has been run during school time in conjunction with Armidale High. The students were only able to take part in the program if they were attending school.
The PCYC has been able to offer these young people involved in the program discounted rates to use the PCYC gym. This means that after the program has finished, the young people can still continue to use what they have learned in the gym and improve their fitness. At the same time it allows contact for PCYC staff to build relations with the young people and mentor them in these vital years of their life.