A FITNESS instructor has been praised for tackling the weighty issues of health and diet as well as his uplifting techniques at a youth club.
A former computer progammer, Darryl Edwards launched his business, the Fitness Explorer in 2005, when he became concerned about his own health.
He has been nominated by client mum-of-two Samanta Fawcett, 26, who said: “Darryl made a radical difference to my health and fitness as a young mother.
“What Darryl made me understand is that I can push myself a bit further, that I didn’t need to train for hours and hours until I felt sick or survive on low-fat, low-calorie diets to achieve my goals.
“I learnt not to give up at the first obstacle and that nothing bad happens if I push myself to the limit. Darryl is a great inspiration and teacher.”
He was also nominated by Nick Sazeides, who runs the Sulgrave youth club in Goldhawk Road, Shepherds Bush where Darryl gives his time free.
He said: “Darryl has been leading fitness sessions with young people within our youth club over the past 12 months on a voluntary basis. As well as the fun fitness sessions he has also delivered workshops around nutrition and healthy eating.
“Darryl is extremely passionate about his brand of natural fitness and leading a healthy lifestyle and has managed to maintain a regular group of young people attending his sessions.
“He will also be playing a major role in our club’s attempts to raise funds towards a mini-bus to transport young people during our school holiday activity projects.
“A skydive is planned for later this year and Darryl will be using his extensive contacts to help raise as much as possible.”
Darryl, 42, based in Chiswick, whose oldest client is 89 and youngest is seven, said: “I want to make fitness fun and people are surprised that I can do that. It’s also important to combine healthy eating. You can’t have one without the other.
“I have all sorts of clients and families. Some are very active and some aren’t but if they come to see me they want to make a change. If someone hates everything there is always a solution. It’s all about balance.”
Part of making fitness fun at the club for 11 to 19-year-olds, is using individuals as weights.
Darryl said: “I find good ways to get the kids involved, which are not traditional. If you are a kid who is not into physical activity it’s important to make it interactive and fun.
“I will make sure the least active child benefits as much as the active one. It’s amazing how the dynamics improve and egos disappear when they are working as a team.”
He even manages to slip in his healthy message when they converge on the vending machine.
The father-of-two said: “I just point out what that sugar in a coke is doing to their body. I don’t lecture, but encourage them to ask questions.”