THE region's next generation of sporting stars are set to benefit from a new program run by Fun Fitness 4 Littlies through the Primary Health Network.
A fixture in the region for the past three years, Fun Fitness 4 Littlies has helped children between the age of zero and seven get active - and will now reach even more kids thanks to a funding boost.
The boost comes from the Primary Health Network and will see the organisation roll out a new program, as part of the Healthy Weight Initiative.
Fun Fitness 4 Littlies' Sam Levick said the new program would reach more than 500 children in places as far away as Scone, Gunnedah and everywhere in between.
"We were really excited to receive the funding and to spread the message of health and fitness right across the region," Levick said.
"Being a company and not a non-profit organisation, it can be pretty tough to receive this kind of funding, so we really excited when we learnt we had been successful.
"After we applied, we learnt that we were the only applicants looking to do something like this with kids aged zero to seven, which was alarming.
"It's so important to get kids understanding the benefits of health and fitness from a young age and that's exactly what this 12-month-long program will do."
As well as developing the kids' interest in sport and their motor skills, Levick said the program would "help bridge the gap" for parents.
"Each child who is participating will receive a goodie bag with a few different things," he said.
"One of the most important things will be a booklet about a healthy diet and regular exercise.
"We're hoping the booklet might help engage not just the kids but their parents as well.
"Hopefully, it will start the conversation at home and get both the kids and their parents interested in getting active."
Levick said the program had already begun and would cover the Tamworth region in the coming months.
"At the moment we have started the program down in Scone and at the Gunnedah Pre-School," he said.
"Later in the year, we will also be heading to some of the public preschools in Tamworth and Kootingal.
"It will be great to get out there, engage with young kids across the region and have some fun spreading the word about getting active."