FITNESS experts at Wrexham Council have vaulted their way to a top honour.

The authority’s exercise referral team collected the National Exercise Referral Scheme (NERS) Award from Fitness Wales at a ceremony in Cardiff.

The team, whose members are based at five of Wrexham’s leisure and activity centres, were nominated for their efforts in developing and delivering a successful exercise referral scheme which targets people at risk of developing chronic diseases.

The scheme is aimed at those who are inactive and over the age of 16.

Cases that may lead to referral from the GP or a health professional include high blood pressure or cholesterol, risk of heart disease, obesity, osteoporosis, diabetes, mental health and weight management issues.

Since the team was established in July 2008 the uptake of clients has increased, with 804 residents taking part between 2009 and 2010.

Sian Hookes, exercise referral co-ordinator for the council, said: “The team thoroughly deserve this award; they have worked extremely hard to make the scheme a success within the Wrexham area.”

Deputy council leader Bob Dutton said: “Wrexham is leading the rest of Wales with this pioneering Exercise Referral programme.

“The training and dedication of the exercise professionals involved is second to none in helping those patients who are often facing life threatening conditions.

“I would like to congratulate the whole team for their efforts and I am delighted the scheme has been recognised on the national stage.”