The Daily Herald writes that the SabaFit community program co-coordinators La-Toya Charles and James Granger oversaw the implementation on Saba of The Netherlands based JOGG (Youth at a Healthy Weight) program which targets the prevention of childhood obesity. The two SabaFit events were held on Monday at Sacred Heart Primary School in St John’s and at the Laura Linzey Day Care Center (LLDCC) in The Bottom. During both events all children were given refillable water bottles with the campaign logo “Drink Water” as well as T-shirts issued specially for this program. The goal is to encourage the youth to commence a healthy, active lifestyle, drinking more water and eliminating their intake of sugar-laden soft drinks or sodas.
The initial kick-off of the SabaFit project was on February 19 when the “Drink Water” campaign was unveiled at the Saba Comprehensive School (SCS) where high school students participated in a sports race which ended at the Johan Cruijff Court. On that occasion Sports Commissioner Bruce Zagers, together with Granger and Charles, unveiled at the sports court the sign inaugurating Saba as a JOGG municipality. Since the unveiling of the campaign the coordinators have been expanding the reach of the program to involve children of all ages. This campaign has a visual approach says Charles, who would like Sabans to think about their water consumption.
At the SHS, children participated in a drawing contest on “Drinking water – Be healthy, be cool!” The organizers chose three winners whose drawings will be incorporated in a “Drink Water” poster campaign and which will be distributed throughout the community. Their drawing may also be featured in the local television station and social media video campaign developed by the SabaFit coordinators.
Another game at the SHS was to have the children form campaign slogan words with letter placards. Charles explained that at the LLDCC they had to adjust to age-appropriate games and simply handed out the special t-shirts and water bottles and had the children play games about water drinking. The children made for some adorable footage which the organizers plan to use in their awareness campaign.
Adam Watkins of Chizzilala Productions has been contracted to develop several video infomercials with the help of the youth in the Saba Leos’ Club. The first videos feature local young athletes playing their sport and encouraging their peers to drink water. There is one video in which the young protagonist counts the spoons of sugar present in a regular soda beverage can and chooses to drink water instead.
This is only the first campaign of a series. The next community campaign will concentrate on eating healthy. The campaign entitled “Just move!” is scheduled to commence in May. The community is encouraged to follow the latest developments on the SabaFit social media account at https://www.facebook.com/SabaFitProject.