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Massy Foundation supporting Yute Gym


Massy Foundation supporting Yute Gym

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Through a donation from the Massy Foundation, several children enrolled in The Heart & Stroke Foundation of Barbados’ (HSFB) Teenage Kicks Yute Gym programme will get the necessary nutritional and fitness support needed to help them better manage their specific health challenges.

At a presentation held recently, director and treasurer of Massy Foundation, Christina Johnson, presented a cheque to chief executive officer of the Heart & Stroke Foundation, Fiona Anthony, and paediatric consultant, Professor Anne St John, a director and mentor for the two-year-old programme.

The funds will be used to purchase exercise equipment and supplies for the programme which aims to improve the health and well-being of overweight and obese youth from eight to 18 years old.

“Firstly, on behalf of the Massy Foundation, I wish to commend the Heart & Stroke Foundation of Barbados for the steps that it is taking in the fight against chronic non-communicable diseases, and its specific interest in childhood obesity,” Johnson said.

“As you may be aware, the Massy Foundation is equally concerned about such national health issues as Health is paramount among our focus areas and represents our largest area of contribution to date. This is because we believe that a healthier citizen and, by extension, a nation, is central to human happiness, well-being and is an important contributor to productivity and economic progress. It is therefore against this background, that we ascribe such attention and value to this area as a corporate charitable entity,” she added.

She also expressed the Massy Foundation’s wholeheartedly endorsement and support for the establishment of the Yute Gym initiative which sees participants attending a two-and-a-half-hour session on Saturday mornings.

“Therefore, we hope that our financial support which has been given for the purchase of exercise equipment and supplies will greatly assist the Heart & Stroke Foundation in achieving the kind of behavioural change and tangible outcomes expected for this target group through this programme,” said Johnson.

Also representing the Massy Foundation was Gillian Corbin of the Advisory Committee who underscored the importance of preserving the health of our children: “We are ever mindful that children are the future and therefore every effort must be made to safeguard their health and general well-being. In addition, we recognised that with today’s child, it is no longer enough to simply say ‘do as I say’ when it comes to compliance, rather we need unified approaches that are interactive, fun and empowering so that they can also take equal responsibility and become more accountable for their own choices.”

In thanking Massy Foundation for its generosity, both the CEO and paediatric consultant said there was increased interest in the programme and they were looking to expand.

Professor St. John noted that they were looking to triple the intake from 60 participants as well as involve schools, churches, community organisations, and the Ministries of Education, Health and Wellness, and Youth.

The programme offers “a safe, age-appropriate environment to exercise” as well as monitors the weight, body mass index, and blood pressure of participants who can be referred by their paediatricians, general practitioners, nurses, teachers or concerned health care professionals. A key aspect of the programme is a parent-education component which equips them with nutritional advice and offers demonstrations on how to prepare healthy meals for their children. (PR)