Melinda Nicci gives girls ideas to chew on in her healthy eating classes

By Candice Krieger, July 8, 2010

Health and fitness fanatic Melinda Nicci has made it to the final of a nationwidebusiness contest organised by Barclays Bank.

She is one of three hopefuls from ten regions across the UK to have made it to the last stage of the Take One Small Step competition. The ten winners receive £50,000 each.

Ms Nicci, 45, is the founder of body2b, a wellbeing and lifestyle programme aimed at adolescent girls. She runs classes designed to educate and inspire girls to lead healthy lives. A mother of two teenagers, she says the lack of teen-centred information on healthy eating persuaded her to set the business up.

She tells People: "I have always been passionate about children and their upbringing. At body2b we understand that teenage years can be a testing time during which self-esteem and confidence can be low. For me, this is not just a business but a way of making a difference to a whole generation of girls."

Body2b runs a weekly session in which schoolgirls exercise and learn about healthy food and nutrition. They are also taught about making good decisions and being positive about themselves.

Ms Nicci, who holds a masters in sport and exercise psychology, says: "I am delighted that I have an opportunity to win this prize, which would enable us to be more interactive and produce downloadable material."

She is also keen to launch a similar programme for boys in within the next two years.

Voting has been taking place over the past few weeks; winners will be announced on July 15.

Last updated: 11:17am, July 8 2010