Saturday 22 September, 2018

Childhood obesity being tackled on, off field by Sagicor and UWI Sport

Students getting assigned to disciplines and start their Sagicor Healthy Body Day activities.

Students getting assigned to disciplines and start their Sagicor Healthy Body Day activities.

Students of 10 primary schools were fed a strict diet of physical activity and nutritional tips today at the UWI Academy of Sport, as the facility teamed up with sponsor Sagicor to help curb bad practices amongst the island’s youth.

Chad Glasgow, Corporate Communications and Marketing Officer, Sagicor Life Inc., told the media that the day’s activities were strategic in their continued quest to develop healthier kids and by extension healthier adults in the long-term.

Responding to a call by the Minister of Health, John Boyce, to reduce the number of persons with non-communicable diseases (NCDs) because the healthcare costs associated with treatment and monitoring are a burden, Sagicor is stepping up to the plate once more to help. Today they held their Sagicor Healthy Body Day at the Academy of Sport, located at the Usain Bolt Sports Complex.

Glasgow said:

“This initiative is born out of our desire to be proactive in leading the fight against childhood obesity and promoting healthy lifestyle habits on our youth. We also saw this as an opportunity to show our children the sports facilities that rival many across the region, hopefully encouraging them to pursue a future in sport or a related field.”

On the sidelines he told Loop News that Sagicor stands by their decision to launch the Sagicor Healthy Body Initiative as part of the Sagicor Adopt-a-School Programme last month, and will continue along that vein as is demonstrated with the Healthy Body Day today.

He said:

“A lot of people in the country have recognised that childhood obesity as well as NCDs among our primary school students is increasingly high. I think it’s increased  20 points over the past 20 years which is relatively scary, so the basis of this initiative is to support healthier lifestyles in our students, simply because we believe prevention is better than cure.”

And he said that the schools were “very responsive” when Sagicor reached out to them to get their participation.

Speaking on behalf of the Academy, Marketing & PR Consultant at the UWI Academy of Sport, Betty Lewis-Browne was happy to once again partner with Sagicor and make the Healthy Body Day a success. She said, “The Academy is all about development, the Academy is all about building, so to have and be working with children so small, that is what we are all about – development.”

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The students who toured the facilities and got to enjoy the day’s planned activities came from St. Silas Primary, Ignatius Byer Primary, St. John Primary, Hillaby Turner’s Hall, St. Catherine’s Primary, St. Mark’s Primary, Vauxhall Primary, Deacons Primary, Eagle Hall Primary and St. Joseph Primary.

The students and their coaches, along with coach assistants and parents, were paired with a coach from the Academy to learn about the three chosen disciplines. Christian Renwick assisted with football. Pedro Collins and Errol Barrow worked with the students for cricket. Athletics was guided by Fallon Forde.

In addition, they returned to the classroom for a session on diet and nutrition, conducted by Kimberley Rudder of Nuts and Bolts Nutrition.