By LAURA MACINTOSH
08.08.14. The second-ever Women’s Island Cricket Project to be held in Fiji was launched at the Wailevu Village Bazaar in the Macuata district today.
Following the successful pilot model of the program staged in Dravo on Viti Levu, the aim of the program is to create awareness about the factors that contribute to non-communicable diseases in the high-risk category of middle-aged women. With 80% of deaths in Fiji attributable to NCDs, throughout the 20 weeks the women will be involved in practical cricket sessions to help combat the factor of physical inactivity, as well as advocacy sessions on the other three factors that contribute to NCDs – nutrition, tobacco and alcohol use.
Cricket Fiji, with the help of Ministry of Health staff, signed up approximately 25 women to the inaugural running of the program on Vanua Levu today, with more attendees expected to attend the first official session next week. Today the woman had their preliminary medical screening completed, as well as for many of the village residents, had a hit of cricket for the first time!
After the launch of the inaugural project in Dravo in 2013, Cricket Fiji saw extremely positive results, including 45.5% of participants losing weight by an average of 3.2 kilograms, 43.2% participants decreasing their waist circumference by an average of 11.8 centimetres, and 34.1% of participants lowering their Body Mass Index (BMI) by an average of 1.4 BMI points.
The first official session of the program will be held at the Wailevu Community Hall this coming Tuesday, August 12, with new participants most welcome to attend.
The Women’s Island Cricket Project is made possible through the Pacific Sports Partnership Program, as Australian Sports Commission initiative.