JIS News

Director of the National Council for Senior Citizens (NCSC), Lieutenant Colonel Desmond Clarke, is imploring Jamaicans to get involved in physical activities, to ensure good mental and physical health.
In an interview with JIS News, Mr. Clarke, who has responsibility for organising the National Senior Citizens Athletic Games, stressed the need for persons of all ages to embark on a programme of physical activity, if they are desirous of staving off lifestyle illnesses.
“All people, particularly elderly persons, should get involved in something that is going to be of an active nature. It is good for your health, it is good for your spirit. The purpose for having the games is to emphasise the need and value of activities in the pursuance of good health. If we are active, it promotes good health,” he asserted.
Mr. Clarke informed that the national games, which are slated to take place at the G.C. Foster College, in July, are largely geared at encouraging persons to treat the business of physical health with the seriousness it requires. He noted that while seniors enjoy the competitive aspect of the games, it is important that they recognise it is more about good health, than winning. Citing the case of a 100 year-old woman who participated in the games last year, he cautioned persons to engage in physical activity only to the extent that they can cope with it, without sustaining injury, and to focus on the many benefits to be derived.
“It is for the benefit of all. We are promoting good health. We are also encouraging young people to be part of the games, because if we encourage young people, as they grow older they will continue doing exercises, so that their health will be advanced by doing so,” he said.
The NCSC has several programmes for the elderly. These include cultural, culinary and sporting activities, along with outreach projects, in which the seniors and young people exchange ideas and skills.

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