Nestlé Jump Starts Youth To­ward Healthy Life­styles

The Star (St. Lucia) - - LOCAL - By Faye-Chantelle Mon­de­sir

The de­vel­op­ment of Youth and Sports in Saint Lu­cia has re­ceived a fur­ther boost with the launch of the Nestlé ‘Jump­start' Pro­gramme. The ini­tia­tive, which was launched last Tues­day, is a re­gion-wide un­der­tak­ing that mar­ries sports and nutri­tion.

Come Septem­ber 24, over 200 chil­dren will gather at the Gros Islet Sec­ondary School grounds where Nestlé and its lo­cal han­dlers Massy Dis­tri­bu­tion will host the MILO Jump­start Sport and Nutri­tion Clin­ics.

There is a regis­tra­tion process which will take place on the morn­ing of the event from 9:00am but par­ents are ad­vised that they can pre-reg­is­ter their young sports en­thu­si­asts at Massy Dis­tri­bu­tion's Head Of­fice.

“Milo Jump­start is re­ally an event for the en­tire fam­ily so we en­cour­age par­ents to bring their chil­dren be­tween the ages of 7 and 16. We have al­ready com­pleted ex­e­cu­tions for Milo Jump­start in St. Vin­cent, Belize, Bar­ba­dos, Trinidad and Tobago and Guyana and I'm pleased that we are able to bring this pro­ject to Saint Lu­cia for Nestlé in col­lab­o­ra­tion with Massy Dis­tri­bu­tion,” said Keenan Charles, Mar­ket­ing rep­re­sen­ta­tive for the Nestlé brand.

Mr. Gre­gory Lu­bin, St Lu­cia Ath­letic As­so­ci­a­tion Coach, has en­dorsed the pro­gramme. He said, “The Milo Jump­start pro­gramme is get­ting our chil­dren phys­i­cally ac­tive. We're tak­ing them out­doors and teach­ing them new skills while hav­ing a good time and build­ing team spirit. These are skills that they will use not only on the day of the event but also when they re­turn home, and I think this is an im­por­tant fac­tor of this ini­tia­tive.”

Nutri­tion is an equally im­por­tant fac­tor for the pro­gramme and for that Nestlé has com­mis­sioned lo­cal nu­tri­tion­ist Azelia Glace who cited re­cent Caribbean Pub­lic Health Agency (CARPHA) sta­tis­tics which warned that Caribbean youth are in the midst of a “child­hood obe­sity epi­demic” de­spite dra­matic over­all health im­prove­ments.

“CARPHA said sta­tis­tics show that at least one in ev­ery five chil­dren car­ries un­healthy weight and risks de­vel­op­ing non-com­mu­ni­ca­ble dis­eases (NCDs) like di­a­betes and car­dio­vas­cu­lar ail­ments later in life,” the nu­tri­tion­ist said.

She in­di­cated that with phys­i­cal ac­tiv­i­ties and proper nutri­tion, the core com­po­nents of the Nestlé Jump­start pro­gramme, the fu­ture of Caribbean youth could be among the bright­est in the world.

“Through the Jump­start Pro­gramme, which in­cludes two core pil­lars on proper nutri­tion and ex­er­cise, some of the core mes­sages that will be shared with our chil­dren and their fam­i­lies in­clude tips on stay­ing in shape and get­ting ac­tive,” Glace said.

The Jump­start Pro­gramme sits on four pil­lars over­all. These in­clude nutri­tion, ex­er­cise, team-ori­ented learn­ing and aca­demics.

Gen­eral Man­ager for Massy Dis­tri­bu­tion St. Lu­cia, Ms. Cyd Luk Pat, said, “To­gether, the four pil­lars will work to help pre­pare youth for their fu­ture roles as ac­tive mem­bers con­tribut­ing pos­i­tively to so­ci­ety.”

Keenan Charles. Over 200 of the na­tion's youth will ben­e­fit from Milo's free nutri­tion and sports clinic next week­end.

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