Scoil Na Fuiseoige Primary School has been learning how to skip for its hearts this week, thanks to a Heart Research UK and SUBWAY® Healthy Heart Grant of £10,000.
Saints Youth Centre, based in Twinbrook, Belfast has been awarded a Heart Research UK and SUBWAY® Healthy Heart Grant of £10,000 for its ‘Saints Saving Hearts’ programme.
This innovative project will encourage the young people of Twinbrook to get heart healthy through a variety of fun heart-focused activities. An eye catching mural has been designed and cooking sessions offered to young people at the centre.
In this third part of the project, the children have taken part in ‘Skip2BFit’ workshops using specially designed counting skipping ropes to incorporate numeracy whilst promoting fitness and healthy living.
The workshops aim to motivate and encourage children to live healthier and more active lifestyles, allowing them to take responsibility for their own heart health. Children and teachers took part in the unique ‘Skip2BFit’ two minute challenge to Rocky’s ‘Eye of the Tiger’, showing them how fun and easy skipping can be and what good exercise it is.
The schools taking part are St Colms High School, Scoil na Fuiseoige, St Lukes and St Marks.
Over 1000 children will take part in the ‘Skip2BFit’ workshops, where they will learn all about heart health and get their hearts beating faster in lively skipping sessions. The ‘Skip2BFit’ workshops also include a portion of anti-oxidant filled, blueberries, for each child taking part in the project.
Thanks to the Heart Research UK and SUBWAY® Healthy Heart Grant each school is given a Skip2BFit ‘Kitbag’ to allow the children to develop their skipping times as well as fitness and lifestyles.
The centre has been working with Scoil Na Fuiseoige Primary School as well as three other primary schools, in areas that are known for having high levels of health deprivation. All the children who have taken part in the workshops will be invited to Saints Youth Club’s ‘Skipping Challenge’ in which they will use their new knowledge and skills to skip for two minutes and hopefully beat their targets.
John McCormack, Skip2BFit Workshop Leader, says: “At Skip2BFit we passionately believe that skipping is one of the best exercises you can do as it gives you the fundamentals of all sports - balance, timing and footwork. Our ‘can do' philosophy is taught using our own specially designed skipping ropes which count the number of skips you do allowing all children to improve and achieve.”
Cherith McClay, Youth Support Worker at the Saints Youth Centre, says: “We are delighted to have received a HRUK and SUBWAY® Healthy Heart Grant to fund our ‘Saints Saving Hearts’ project. Not only will we be able to reach the young people who come to the centre regularly but by taking our ‘Skip2BFit’ programme into schools, we will be reaching children of all ages with the healthy heart message.”
Barbara Harpham, National Director at Heart Research UK, says: ““The ‘Saints Saving Hearts’ project would not have been possible if it wasn’t for the support of the SUBWAY® staff and customers in Northern Ireland. This programme is a creative way to get children interested in heart health, especially the ‘Skip2BFit’ workshop. If we encourage children at an early age to be active and eat healthily, we are giving them the tools to lead healthier, happier and longer lives.”
Manaaz Akhtar, Head of Marketing for the SUBWAY® brand in the UK and Ireland, says: “The SUBWAY® brand is delighted that through the partnership with Heart Research UK, the HRUK and SUBWAY® Healthy Heart Grant programme is available. SUBWAY® stores in Northern Ireland have enjoyed fundraising, and it’s great to see initiatives such as this come to fruition as a result of the money generously donated by our customers in store.”