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Premier launches Youth Fitness Programme

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Earlier today, The Premier, the Hon. Michael H. Dunkley, JP, MP,  officially launched the Premier's Youth Fitness Programme under the auspices of the Premier’s Council on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition. Supporting the launch were the Minister of Education, the Hon. R. Wayne Scott, JP, MP; Acting Minister of Health and Seniors, R. Patricia Gordon-Pamplin, JP, MP; and Junior Minister of Social Development and Sports, Nandi Outerbridge, JP, MP, as well as Premier’s Council members, Department of Health officials, sponsors and educators.  Please see the Premier’s remarks below:

Good morning everyone.

I am delighted to be here today for the launch of the Premier’s Council on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition.

To you, the students of Dellwood Middle School, and to all students throughout Bermuda, it is my hope that this programme will help you on the path to a lifetime of good health.

That means a life in which regular exercise and healthy eating are part and parcel of your day-to-day activities.

Many of you may be wondering what all the fuss is about. You’re healthy, you play sports, you move, you’re active, and perhaps think you eat well.

But we know that many young Bermudians are not as active as they should be.

We know there are many who don’t play sports or are not active enough, many who sit more than move, many who don’t get the food they need to build strong bodies.

The Premier’s Council wants to change that… to focus your attention on fitness and nutrition. It wants you to learn what your bodies need in order for them to work better for you.

For example, the Premier’s Council Fitness Gram test will measure your abdominal and upper body strength, your flexibility, your weight and body mass and your aerobic capacity, and then guide you toward improvements that can take you into what is called a “Healthy Fitness Zone.”

As Premier, I am very excited about this programme for a few reasons.

I’ve been around long enough to know how important good health is to all aspects of life – on the job, in school, pursuing your dreams, making friends and in the home – being a good son or daughter, being a parent and a role model.

It takes energy to live life well and it requires fitness to live a long life. This is very much a part of what the Premier’s Council is aiming to achieve in you.

I was always active as a kid, playing sports right through high school, university and beyond.

Being fit and active is an essential part of my life.

I get up each morning around 5am and go to the gym – the day doesn’t start until I get my heart rate up.

This is my habit – my lifetime habit – and I believe it makes me more alert and better able to get through the very busy days.

That’s my biggest hope for the Premier’s Council on Fitness – that it will set you on the path to healthy living; that it will create in you the awareness of what your body needs to help you succeed.

Everyday fitness and a good diet are the building blocks for a long and active life.

Everyday fitness provides you with the energy to get things done.

Everyday fitness keeps your body working well for you.

It helps you stand taller, with more confidence. It is something that will carry you forward in life.

I want to express my thanks and appreciation to the many people who have helped bring this day about.

  • To Dr Freddie Evans, who as Acting Commissioner of Education issued the order for the Premier’s Council on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition for government schools
  • To the Council members who will oversee this programme, the Curriculum Officer for Health & Physical Education and the Healthy Schools Coordinator who will sit as co-chairs, the Bermuda School Sports Federation, the Bermuda Sports Anti-Doping Authority, the Department of Youth Sport & Recreation, the Bermuda Diabetes Association, Dr. Richard Fulton, Public Health Nutritionists and the Department of National Drug Control.
  • To the PE teachers who do such a great job in completing the Fitness Gram tests.
  • And finally to our corporate supporters, who are deeply involved in all aspects of this undertaking.

As Premier and as a proud Bermudian, I appreciate their commitment. All of these people are in this for you – all of them are working to help you live better forever.

Take on the fitness habit and I guarantee you will lead a better life.

I look forward to seeing you in June 2017 and the opportunity to present Youth Fitness Awards to students and schools with the greatest number of physical activity minutes. I can hardly wait to hear what you think and feel.

This is a great opportunity. Seize it and move forward with a clear head, a sharp eye and a spring in your step.

Be healthy, be fit and have fun!