The Premier's Council on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition

In May 2015, the Premier's Council on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition, which is part of Well Bermuda, was mandated in schools by Dr. Freddie Evans, Acting Commissioner of Education. The Council is comprised of professionals from the Ministry of Education, Department of Health, Department of Youth, Sport & Recreation, Department of Health's Nutrition Services, a private pediatrician, BF&M, The Argus Group, Bermuda School Sports Federation, Department of Health's Child and School Health Program, Bermuda Sport Anti-Doping Authority, Bermuda Diabetes Association, and Department of National Drug Control.

The Spirit System

The Council developed the Premier's Youth Fitness Program (PYFP), which is the school-based initiative that aims to track the fitness levels of students in P5, P6, M1 to M3, and S1 to S3. Twice a year, P.E. teachers will conduct standardized fitness tests through a program called the Spirit System, produce student and parent reports, and assist students by developing action plans. The goal is to help improve students' fitness levels so that their fitness results place them in the Healthy Fitness Zone for at least 3 of 5 fitness components. Also, P.E. teachers will encourage students to increase their daily physical activity and healthy eating outside of school with their families.

During P.E. classes, students will wear a wrist heart rate monitor, which will enable them to track their effort or hard they are working out, and make adjustments, as needed. This information will be sent to parents via email and uploaded to each student's file in the Spirit System. In addition, each student will receive a Fitness Portfolio, which includes a Weekly Activity Log. A number of community partners who provide physical activity and sports will sign off on a student's participation minutes, which will allow students to see progress and make adjustments to their physical activity levels, as a part of their action plan. At the end of the school year, students who reach pre-set benchmarks or goals set by the Council will receive Gold, Silver, or Bronze Awards from BF&M for their efforts.

THE PREMIER'S YOUTH FITNESS FOR AN ACTIVE LIFE

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So, What Happened?

Less Physical Activity

Thirty years ago most people kept active lives to keep them at a healthy weight. Kids walked to and from school each day, were active in school gym class and played outdoors for hours until it was dinnertime. Today, many kids and adults watch TV, play or work on computer games, and electronic devices for hours at a time.

Smaller Portion Sizes & Whole Foods

Thirty years ago, portion sizes were not only a lot smaller, but meals were planned and made with fresh, whole foods. Examples of whole foods are fruits and vegetables as if they had just been picked from the tree or pulled from the garden. Today, the fast pace of many peoples’ lives has caused the introduction of processed foods that are far less healthy for us. Generally, processed foods can last for weeks or months in the grocery store, until we buy them.

How Can We Help Change Obesity?

Parents

  • Keep fresh fruit within reach for a quick snack that child can grab on the go

  • Plan meals for the week and involved kids in the planning and cooking

  • Take a walk with the family after dinner

  • Turn off phones and TV during dinner and enjoy more family time

  • Ask about your child's school Premier's Youth Fitness Program and encourage your child to move more outside of school

Kids

  • Move everyday

  • Try out new fruits and vegetables

  • Drink plenty of water each day

  • Try jumping jacks, running in place or any activity during commercial breaks

  • Help to make dinner

PREMIER'S YOUTH FITNESS PROGRAM

Co-Chairs: Marie Beach (441) 300-0151 | Arnold Manders (441) 537-0595 | Email: info@stepitup.bm