An organisation in Parkes dedicated to serving young people is helping the town's youth to get fit - in more ways than one.
PCYC Parkes for the last nine months has been running the Fit for Life program - an entry-level activity that's part of the NSW Police Commissioner Mick Fuller's RISEUP strategy.
It uses boxing, incidental education and consistent mentoring to encourage youth who need a bit of extra help in life, to connect with their communities and opportunities in a youth-friendly and safe environment.
The program targets young people aged between 10 and 17 years and involves local police, fitness instructors, schools, health professionals, Parkes Shire Council and Parkes Rotary Club members.
Every Tuesday morning during the school term, about 25 participants are picked up by the PCYC and local police and taken to the club for a boxing session, provided breakfast by Rotary and are dropped off at school by 9am.
The Parkes youth involved said they've enjoyed interacting with new people, coming together as a group and the fitness.
RISEUP is a new strategy developed by the NSW Police Commissioner, that aims to build the youths' engagement with education, employment opportunities and the community, and divert them from the criminal justice system.
It's facilitated by the NSW Police Force and PCYC NSW state-wide and consists of eight "Fit" programs, including Fit for Work.
Parkes PCYC manager Tim Watts said the Fit for Life program has been so well received and successful in town, they'll be introducing the second program Fit for Change next school term.
"The response from the kids involved has been awesome," he said.
"The biggest thing is building relationships with other groups like the police, Rotary members and council."
"It breaks down the communication and relationship barriers."
Fit for Change features a range of strategies, including developmental crime prevention, positive relationships, support networking, cognitive behavioral sessions, healthy lifestyles, fitness tests, living skills and a PCYC pre-employment skills course - which involves resume and budget preparation, reading skills, and obtaining First Aid and White Card certificates.
It focuses on teaching the youth self-discipline, instilling confidence, increasing self-esteem and helping to address issues.
One of the 14-year-old boys who has been involved in the Fit for Life program since the beginning said there were many things he liked about it.
"The fitness, it gets me out of the house before school, I love the food," he said.
"We do boxing drills, we chat as a group and we have breakfast - I have ADHD so it helps me to calm myself down."
PCYC Parkes will be starting the Fit for Life program in both Peak Hill and Forbes from Term 2.