FITNESS fanatics helped a Sheffield woman shed four stone in 20 weeks – and are now helping her autistic son develop a love of sport.
Rachel Hurst, 42, has dropped two dress sizes since signing up to the Fit 4 It boot camp in January.
The mother-of-three had spent years trying different diets and exercise regimes with little luck, but found the classes, at Hillsborough’s Klick Fitness, helped her transform her body shape.
And after instructors Katie Ford and Ryan Dack – who have both represented Great Britain in sport - set up a teenage boot camp to capitalise on this summer’s Olympics, Rachel saw it as the perfect opportunity for nine-year-old son Oliver to get fighting fit.
Unlike his sporty brothers, Charlie, 13, and 15-year-old Harry, Oliver did not lead an active lifestyle.
His learning difficulty made it harder for him to engage in sport and he was prone to comfort eating.
With little support for parents, Rachel worried for her son, but since he has attended the boot camps he has enjoyed the same self-esteem boost she had.
Rachel, of Wharncliffe Side, Sheffield, said: “I was going on holiday to Florida and didn’t want to look ridiculous in the photos. I wanted to get into my summer clothes.
“As a mother I want my children to be fit and healthy.
“With Oliver, I knew I had to address the problem. He is nine, but the size of a 12 or 13 year old. He’s tall but well-built and he’s never been a fan of PE.
“I asked if I could bring him along to the boot camps and I was amazed at how he came out of himself. You see all the kids getting more confident.”
The boot camps take place three times a week, with special cardio training.
Former athlete Katie and kickboxer Ryan are hoping to inspire a new generation of children of all abilities to get active following London 2012.
Katie said: “The thing we pride ourselves on is our sessions are for everyone and everyone feels comfortable. Watching Oliver’s confidence grow has been great, he’s very much part of the class.”