Inter-school fitness challenge aims to revitalise physical activity
DPI, GUYANA, Wednesday, November 1, 2017
As the administration continues to raise awareness about fitness and health among the nation’s youths, eleven schools competed against each other on Wednesday, in an Inter-school Fitness Challenge held at the Cliff Anderson Sport Hall.
The challenge is a collaborative effort between the Ministry of Public Health, Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization (PAHO/WHO) and Fusion Fitness Gym among others.
The Ministry of Public Health’s Deputy Chief Medical Officer (DCMO) Dr. Karen Boyle, explained that the initiative is a means to combat chronic disease among young people since behavioural changes begin early while undergoing puberty.
“We (government) recognise that they can take charge of their health and the little decisions they (young people) make… together compose a lifestyle. If we can encourage them to adopt healthy lifestyles at an early age, it becomes a habit later on”, the DCMO said.
She noted that the fitness challenge will encourage the participants to be cognizant of not only their physical fitness but spiritual, and mental well-being.
“We want the youths to also think about their eating habits and food choices they make. They need to drink sufficient water to keep hydrated, enough rest and just invest some energy in their mental fortitude and have self-confidence”, Dr. Boyle added.
The DCMO said that the exercise will instruct individual participants how to identify their weakness; more importantly those involved in team challenges will learn to compensate for their weaknesses and capitalize on their strengths.
The participants of the fitness challenge will also be given a discussion about the sexual reproductive system conducted by a team from the adolescent unit.
National Sport Commission’s (NSC) Physical Education Sport Specialist, Sean Ernestine, said the challenge aims to revitalise physical activity in schools which will serve as a motivation and stimulus package, for both teachers and students.
“We want to promote physical activities in the school setting. Have our kids become active because of the illnesses plaguing our society, like child obesity among others and we don’t want our nation dying at an early age from chronic illnesses. We actually want to reverse that and we know that lifestyle diseases can be reversed”, Ernestine explained.
The physical education sport specialist said that he is grateful for the initiative’s support, and intends to continue raising awareness about fitness and health in the future.
Recently, a similar fitness challenge was conducted at the Berbice High School that attracted participation from schools from as far away as the Corentyne coast.
It is hoped that the fitness challenge will be supported and adopted in all of the ten administrative regions.
By: Neola Damon