Wellness club keeps youth fit, healthy and out of trouble

The club is based in Bonteheuwel and is open to the youth and adults, including senior citizens.

There is no charge to join but the club relies on donations to stay afloat.

Mr Hendricks said the club’s main aim is to keep idle youth off the streets and by teaching them about wellness, and how to keep fit, he hopes to change their mindset.

The club offers classes on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays from 6pm to 7pm at the Bonteheuwel community centre.

They offer aerobics, cardio sessions and balancing exercises. They also visit schools in the area and speak to the children about personal hygiene, at school and at home, and safety around the house.

He said by having the club in Bonteheuwel, youth in the area had the opportunity to do something better with their lives. He hoped it would even show them that they could pursue a career in health and wellness.

“They enjoy it very much and are always excited to attend. They can now see that we are here to stay and that we can’t allow them to be recruited by gangs. We are trying to put protective measures in place. We want them to have a better future. What makes it holistic is that in some families the parents and children attend which creates a positive mindset all round. This will be an ongoing venture and a long-term investment,” he said.

Mr Hendricks said they asked youth to come to class with health issues they think needs to be addressed at school, home and within their families.

“We do this to pick their brains to see what they are thinking because we need to keep the session proactive and fun for them,” he said.

Mr Hendricks said he had noticed a decrease in the number of youth walking in the streets because of the activities offered at the club.

The club is now planning a 5km big walk for Heritage Month in September.

Ward 50 councillor Angus Mckenzie said when youth were involved in sport, wellness, and fitness, they were kept busy and off the streets.

He said it was important for the City of Cape Town to support organisations which the youth wanted to and needed to be involved in.

“We need to take a holistic approach to our youth. We can’t focus on improving them academically and not socially. We need our young people to excel at the things they are good at,” he said.

Mr Mckenzie said that it also taught the youth discipline that would get them through the things they were weaker at.

“Parents have realised that they need to be role models to their children and play an active role by supporting their children in the activities they want to be part of,” he said.