Press Release
Rotary Hike for Life 5K Barbados
The Rotary and Rotaract Clubs in Barbados, on Sunday March 6, 2022, at sunrise, brought to a climax the 7030 Moves for Childhood Obesity Prevention (COP)” campaign, with the “Hike For Life 5K” initiative: a scenic round trip walk along the east coast of Barbados, from Barclays Park to Joes River Bridge.
COP is a priority programme for the Rotary District 7030 that covers 115+ Rotary and Rotaract clubs in 17 countries and territories in the Southern Caribbean. The incidence of childhood obesity in the region, has become an issue of great concern, with an alarming 1 in 3 Caribbean children qualifying as either overweight or obese.
The 7030 Moves for COP campaign (which ran from January 24, 2022, to March 6, 2022) consisted of 3 initiatives that sought to raise awareness of the contributors and effects of childhood obesity in the region. Possible actions were outlined, that if taken by members and clubs could go a far way to combat this pressing issue. Members, clubs, and the wider community were encouraged to partake in physical activity challenges and involve children in the same while information about COP was shared and promoted via Rotary channels.
The 1st initiative was a physical activity challenge that played on the district’s number (70-30). In one such activity, at least 70 Rotarians used the Count-It app to record and report on their physical activity within a set 30 day-period.
The 2nd initiative was an open webinar held on World Obesity Day, March 4, 2022, that focused on healthy living through proper diet and exercise, and recognition of the Caribbean’s obesity levels (both in adults and children). Presenting at the webinar were Claudia Selin Batz (World Obesity Federation), Dr. James Hospedales (CARPHA), Dr. Christopher Tufton (Health and Wellness Minister, Jamaica), and Dr. Karen Gordon Boyle (Health Sector Development, Caribbean Community).
The 3rd initiative was the 1st Annual Obesity Awareness Movement event, held on an official Rotary Day of Service March 6, 2022, that focused on community awareness. The idea behind this initiative was to have adults and children gather under the spirit of Rotary fellowship and get them physically active and moving whether on their own, in small groups or as a club, by participating in a local 5K walk, run, or jog.
The Rotary family in Barbados joined forces for Hike For Life 5K. For some, this was the 1st time in over 2 years that persons were seeing, meeting, or sharing the usual Rotary fellowship most are accustomed to. The smiles and laughter (albeit mostly behind face masks) reflected in the eyes of the attendees. Both adults and children were equally excited, and eager to be outdoors in a safe environment.
There were 3 walking groups aptly named according to pace and distance, Scenic Walk, Intermediate, and Fast & Fabulous. Each group with assigned front and rear leads, had staggered start times and slightly modified routes, that ended within a comfortable 2-hour time frame. Good fun was had by all.
The health and wellness of our children is of great importance. Rotary will continue to support awareness for daily exercise, and a balanced lifestyle of healthy thinking and eating, to help our children lead powerful, positive, meaningful lives.