Foundation Puts Heart Into Local Health
Primary schools will benefit from “Lanky's Guide to a Healthy Heart”
LANCASHIRE COUNTY Cricket Club players are meeting local primary schoolchildren as part of a new Healthy Heart project aimed at tackling health inequalities in the club’s local Trafford community.
The year-long programme is being run by the Lancashire County Cricket Club Foundation (LCCCF) thanks to a £9,371 Healthy Heart Grant from northern-based national heart charity, Heart Research UK.
The “Lanky’s Guide to a Healthy Heart” project aims to tackle high health inequalities in the Trafford area by instilling heart-healthy lifestyle habits at a young age, encouraging children to acquire the knowledge, attitudes and behaviour that lead to healthy lifestyle choices.
A study by Chester University has shown that life expectancy is 11.1 years less in the M16 area of Trafford compared with more affluent areas. Local people are more likely to have a poor diet, smoke, eat high fat foods, drink more alcohol and are the least likely to cook from scratch.
Lancashire County Cricket Club aims to tackle bad habits, bad lifestyle choices and change attitudes through the introduction of new knowledge, skills and understanding which the Heart Research UK grant is funding.
The Lancashire County Cricket Club Foundation programme involves 30 primary schools from the local area, getting the pupils thinking about how to take care of their hearts through fun activities and games in a Heart Health workshop at the club.
Among the players who have been involved with sessions is opening batsman Paul Horton who joined children from St Phillips C of E Primary School, Hulme, Manchester learning about the healthy heart, took part in a kwik-cricket session and made fruit kebabs.
Cooking healthy dishes is part of the project and the youngsters are also learning about the difference between good and bad fats, have been taking part in fun coaching sessions, as well as receiving a stadium tour and asking the players questions about their health.
Paul Horton was delighted to be involved in the Heart Research UK project. He said: “It is really good to see young people learning the importance of looking after their hearts through healthy eating and exercise. I’ve seen how much this project means to the children who are taking part and hopefully the health messages they are learning now will last them a lifetime.”
A brochure is being produced featuring the pupils’ work and useful tips and schools will take part in a pedometer competition with cricket coaching and a signed LCCC cricket bat to be won.
Michelle Carney, Foundation Director, says; “We are delighted to be working in partnership with Heart Research UK to deliver this practical and creative Healthy Heart project. Our aim is to engage pupils with lifestyle messages they will never forget and with the help of our professional cricket players at Lancashire County Cricket Club, I’m sure it will be a great success. We would once again like to thank Heart Research UK for this wonderful opportunity.”
Barbara Harpham, National Director at Heart Research UK, says: “It’s great to see local role models from Lancashire County Cricket Club getting involved in helping to spread the Healthy Heart message across the community. It’s important that children learn at an early age about the importance of leading a healthy lifestyle, and projects like this are a great way of focusing on heart health in a fun and interactive way. Good habits picked up now will stay with them for a lifetime.”
Image: Ciara-Leah Liburd-Byron, 10; Cricketer Paul Horton; Tyler Gordon, 9 displaying the fruit kebabs they made.