A SCHEME to help people move from couch potatoes to serious runners has been launched but Tenbury has been left out of the programme.

People from the town that want to take part will need to travel.

Malvern Hills residents are being encouraged to get active after the festive season by taking part in Couch to 5k in the new year.

The fun and informal running group is aimed at complete beginners of all ages and will be returning to the district at a number of different locations from January.

The courses will run from:

•Tuesday, January 14, 10.30am-11.30am at Upton Hill Community Centre.

•Tuesday, January 14, 6.30pm-7.30pm at Malvern Vale Community Centre.

•Wednesday, January 15, 9.15am-10.15am at Pendock Primary School (10-week programme at £20 per person).

•Thursday, January 16, noon-1pm at the Council House, Avenue Road, Malvern.

At a cost of £25 per person, the 12-week programme has been set up by Malvern Hills District Council with the aim of helping to build confidence, stamina, fitness and well-being, as well as being social.

Participants will complete one group run together every week as well as two homework runs with the support of group leaders.

By the end of the 12 weeks, participants will be able to take part in the Worcester Pitchcroft Park Run on April 11 and receive a well-earned medal at the finish line.

There have been a number of initiatives in the past at the Tenbury swimming pool and Leisure Centre to encourage people to get fit.

The town also has an active sports club as well as football, rugby and cricket teams that enable people of different ages and abilities to get take part in sport.

Tenbury Boxing Club is now based at the Bluestone Centre just outside the town.

It encourages people of all ages and both men and women to get involved in boxing and keep fit classes.

Some of the people who attend the centre will go on to box competitively but for most it is more about health and wellbeing as well as the chance to meet with people and to make friends.

Tenbury Primary School has also recently installed a running track to help children to keep fit. Exercise is known to improve both physical and mental health but people who have been physically active for a long time or have a health issue are advised consult their doctor before starting.