On Sunday 22nd November, 2015, the Saint Lucia Red Cross will join eight other national societies in the region to host its first ever 7K Fun run/walk. The event which starts from Castries Comprehensive School and ends at the Reduit Beach, will seek to raise awareness of the impact of non-communicable diseases on the general population.
Statistics suggest that non-communicable diseases such as diabetes, cancer, cardio-vascular diseases including hypertension are contributing to high morbidity and mortality amongst St Lucia’s population. A 2007 study suggests that given current trends the rate of diabetes in St. Lucia will double every four years.
According to Terencia Gaillard, Director General of the Saint Lucia Red Cross, “the Red Cross has a mandate to support public authorities in protecting the health of the people of its country. The St Lucia Cross recognizes that non-communicable diseases are robbing families and individuals of their health and consequently we are doing our part in spreading the word on the implications of non-communicable diseases.”
“We are excited about the event as it will bring the message of the importance of healthy life-styles which include exercise, healthy eating, reduced alcohol intake and reduced tobacco use,’ she continued.
Vincent Boland is Chairperson of the organizing committee, “this is the first annual 7k walk/run and we look forward to members of the public coming out in large numbers to make a statement on the impact of non-communicable diseases. We look forward to bringing together persons from all walks of life to run, walk and share the message on how to protect ourselves from non-communicable diseases.”
Mr Boland reiterated that healthy life-styles which include proper diet and nutrition, exercise, reduced alcohol and tobacco use are key in preventing and managing non-communicable diseases. “Walking,” he continues “is one of the cheapest and most effective exercises that one can include in their healthy lifestyle. So St Lucia, let’s on Sunday 22nd, November 2015 walk towards a healthy lifestyle.”
Registration for the walk/run is $20.00. Each registrant receives a t-shirt with their registration. Registration will continue on Saturday 21st November, 2015 at the Men’s Health Fair at Bay-walk Mall and the energy fair at Mega J. Registration forms are also available on the St Lucia Red Cross Facebook page. There is no registration on race day.
Medals will be awarded to the first 75 persons who cross the finish line. In addition, persons can make a commitment to adopting healthier lifestyles by imprinting their hand or foot on banners at the finish line.
All proceeds from the walk will benefit young persons as funds will be used to conduct sensitization workshop amongst youth on the prevention and management of non-communicable diseases. The workshops will be implemented through community based and school based Red Cross and non-Red Cross groups throughout the island.