Community, leisure and sports for all: Baby gymnastic programme – Northern region |14 September 2022
Promoting a culture of sports in children
In its attempt to promote a culture of sports in children through developing basic activities by facilitating access to appropriate resources and training, all in line with the national sports action plan, the community, leisure and sports for all unit within the National Sports Council hosted a baby gymnastic session on Saturday, gathering children from the northern part of Mahé.
Jointly hosted by the National Sports Council (NSC) and the Ministry of Health, the programme is aimed at boosting the development of the children’s basic physical abilities, while facilitating access to appropriate resources and training from children of nine months to four years old, and also to provide training to facilitators, childminders and day-care operators.
According to Francis Remie, director of the community, leisure and sports for all unit, the programme was initiated in 2005 after realising the importance and benefits of physical activities among children, and to cater for the overall physical development of children.
He explained that it is evident that that there is a lack of commitment from local communities, professionals and care providers to enhance the physical development in the early childhood stage locally.
Based on local research for child minding carried out in 2013, there is a lack of appropriate space, equipment and trained person within the establishments to cater for the physical development of children within this age group, while the shift in housing development from single houses to apartments also limits space for outdoor activities.
Also present at Saturday’s activity which took place at the NSC multi-purpose hall at Roche Caïman were health professionals from the unit for prevention and control of cardiovascular diseases (UPCCD) within the Ministry of Health.
According to health promotion officer Gaynor Mangroo, they have joined with the NSC to mostly educate parents on the concept of healthy eating, and other risk behaviours that affect children from an early age and contribute towards future health problems such as obesity and heart problems.
Saturday’s activity was also part of activities to commemorate World Heart Day which is celebrated every year on September 29.
Set by the World Heart Federation, the day is aimed at informing people around the world about cardiovascular disease (CVD).
It is a global campaign through which the federation unites people in the fight against the CVD burden as well as inspires and drives international action to encourage heart-healthy living.
Some of the activities during Saturday’s baby gymnastic programme.
Text and photos: Roland Duval