2013 Leaners rediscovering road to fitness


IT’S a new school year filled with fresh exciting challenges, like the
seventh Kellogg'sR Health of the Nation 50-Hour Sports Challenge, which gets
5,000 young learners back 'on the ball' by keeping a ball in motion for 50
hours. Organised by national youth sports development agency Sporting
Chance, the fun-filled Challenge aims to inspire a lifelong passion for
exercise and sport.
According to coordinator Brad Bing, the Challenge is a step in the right
direction towards reaffirming an active lifestyle amongst South African
youth, a lengthy process which is now underway, which is benefitting from
both corporate and government support. 
"The fitness of an entire generation of South African children has been
compromised since physical education was significantly downscaled in the
national school curriculum in 1999, and it will take another seven years
before the reintroduced physical education programmes become fully
functional, following comprehensive teacher education. Research has shown
that children develop healthy habits by the age of 12. "If you're not
playing sport or leading an active and healthy lifestyle by then, the
chances are that sport and physical activity will not feature in your adult
life," says Bing. 
Explaining the origin of the Challenge, Bing said that a 2004 study revealed
that an alarmingly large percentage of South African children were already
facing probable obesity-related health problems. "It was obvious that we
needed to kick-start an awareness of the importance of exercise and living a
healthy lifestyle, which we hoped would grow into a passion for sport and
physical activity."
'There is a need for urgent attention from parents, teachers, organisations
and other authorities to address the problems of childhood nutrition and
physical activity. "Balanced nutrition and healthy eating combined with
exercise are the cornerstones of Kellogg'sR Corn Flakes sponsorship of the
event," says Bing.
"More than a quarter of a century of research supports a positive link
between breakfast, mental alertness and physical performance.  Eating
breakfast may help children to do better in school by improving their
memory, grades, attendance, psycho-social function and moods ," says
Kellogg'sR Corn Flakes' Brand Manager Jack Kruger. "Our involvement with
this important initiative combined with the Kellogg'sR Corn Flakes Set For
School promotion which gives families the chance to win educational prizes
to the value of R1,25 million, supports our belief that a healthy body and
mind are a winning combination."
Bing said there is now fresh hope, with educators and national government
developing a new awareness of the need to encourage children to adopt an
active lifestyle. "While it will still be several years before teachers are
fully qualified in physical education, this new attitude is encouraging and
we hope will ultimately lead to a fitter, healthier nation."
Keep the ball rolling
The Kellogg'sR Health of the Nation 50-Hour Sports Challenge, conceived by
Sporting Chance, is aimed at encouraging children to take an interest in
physical activity in a school environment. 
School children from various communities throughout Gauteng and the Western
Cape will participate in the challenges at the Southern Suburbs Sport and
Recreation Centre in Rosettenville, for three days from January 25, and in
Cape Town at the Western Cape Sports School, in Kuils River, from February
15. Held in association with Sporting Chance, Virgin Active, KIA Motors SA
and Supersport Let's Play, as well as radio partners SAfm and Good Hope fm,
it is the largest sporting event of its kind in the country. 
Children compete in up to 15 different indoor and outdoor sporting
disciplines over the course of the three days. They are exposed to a huge
variety of sports, including cricket, tennis, hockey, rounders, table
tennis, badminton, netball, soccer, rope skipping, athletics and touch
Health Road Shows
In the weeks leading up to the Challenge, Sporting Chance, in association
with Kellogg'sR Corn Flakes, hosts pre-Challenge road shows in selected
communities. The road shows address specific social concerns within
communities including how to lead an active life; prevent obesity;
principles of personal hygiene and nutritional guidance facilitated by
KelloggR dietitians.
The Kellogg'sR Health of the Nation 50-Hour Sports Challenge is supported by
the national Department of Health. 
Schools or individuals wishing to participate in the Kellogg'sR Health of
the Nation 50-hour Sports Challenge can contact Natalie at Sporting Chance
on 021 683 7299, log on to  <http://www.sportingchance.co.za>
www.sportingchance.co.za, follow @SportinChance on Twitter and facebook
<http://www.facebook.com/sportingchance> www.facebook.com/sportingchance 



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