Youngsters ensure their hearts are Well off

Youngsters compete hard
Youngsters compete hard
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Motherwell Football Community Trust held a celebration day to mark the end of the year long Well Hearts programme.

The club received a grant for nearly £10,000 from Heart Research UK to enable community coaches to visit local schools and deliver classroom activities covering essentials such as maintaining a healthy heart, complemented by sports coaching.

Community engagement officer Derek Watson said: “We have delivered the Well Hearts programme to over 1,200 kids in 20 schools across Lanarkshire talking to them about the importance of maintaining a healthy diet and taking regular exercise in order to look after their health, both now and later in life.

“It’s been pretty good and the kids have received it very, very well, the response has been fantastic and I think the coaches have enjoyed it just as much as the kids did.

“To mark the end of the programme we decided to invite pupils from Knowetop, Glencairn and Muirhouse primaries down to Fir Park to take part in a variety of
sports.

“The project is now coming to an end, although we are hoping to apply for another grant to run it again, but in the meantime this seemed a good way to celebrate all the hard work the youngsters have put in.”

The celebration day was visited by Heart Research UK committee member George Harper who is writing a report of how their money was used.

He said: “We want to get out the message to children about keeping their heart healthy, how their heart works and how it keep it and themselves fit.

“I am visiting to see how the community trust has done, but from the reports they have sent in previously the message seems to be going out very well, the children have enjoyed it and taken on board what they are being told to keep themselves fit and healthy.”

Football development officer Andrew Gemmell is hopeful funding can be found to enable the programme to continue.

He said: “It’s been really good, the kids have given us a terrific response.

“Heart Research UK and Motherwell FC are two big organisations so I think the kids take notice, especially with the football club being involved.

“With giving them fun games I think it helps make it easier for them to take the serious message on board and getting them nice and early helps cut down the likes of obesity and heart disease in later life.

“The programme is quite varied so whether it is looking at the biology of the heart, staying hydrated or the damage smoking and alcohol can cause the kids do learn a lot and at that age they are like sponges sucking up all the information.

“I don’t think there is any reason the programme should stop, there will always be kids we never got to or the council hasn’t got to with a similar message.

“Every year we hear about the figures for obesity or heart disease so it seems obvious this needs to continue and I hope the funding can be found as this shouldn’t just be a one off.”