Global Youthfit Project, a children’s fitness NGO based in New York has collaborated with a Ghanaian private school to provide a weeklong fitness programme to the pupils of the school.
The 7-day intensive programme, which was organised at the Harlem International School at Asofan near Pokuase on January 24, was focusedon how to prevent injuries among the schoolchildren and expose them to an advanced level of physical education.
In addition to classroom instructions on the subject, the children were also taken through fitness drills including plyometrics, lower body and core stability, balance and coordination, speed and agility etc.
The proprietor of the school, Mrs Agnes Opokua stressed the need for proper, holistic physical education in schools in the country. According to her, one that would effectively enhance the wellbeing of the children.
She said a proper physical exercise oxygenates the brain, which in effect, helps children in their studies while improving their general health.
Ms Rita Ann Rackwitz, the President of the Global Youthfit Project, stressed the need for children to adopt the culture of keeping fit as this would not only help them in their formative years but also when they become adults.
The Certified Paediatric Nurse Practitioner also mentioned that a properly coordinated physical exercise for children does not only decrease the risk of injuries amongst them but also prevents childhood obesity and diseases.
“We came into the country to provide the kids with a fitness programme that is basically aimed reducing injuries and to improve their health”, she indicated.
She added: “We have worked with the kids over the past week taking them through different exercise setups to deepen their knowledge in fitness education”
MsRackwitz said her organisation focuses on providing fitness education to children as a way of instilling in them the practice of healthy living.
Meanwhile, the health professional has advocated for schools in Ghana to have lockers in which schoolchildren could store their books and other learning materials instead of carrying them around on their backs in overstuffed backpacks.
According to her, the weight of the backpack should not exceed a fifth (5th) of the overall weight of the child, also advising schoolchildren not to strap their backpacks on one shoulder as this causes the spine to lose its cartilage.
MsRackwitz advised parents and teachers to supervise the amount of load their wards and pupils take to school.
She said her organisation would welcome any invitation from schools and other organisations alike to provide effective and thorough physical education to children of all ages.
The Assistant director and PTA Chairman of Harlem International School, Rev. Edward Addison, stated the Physical Education subject being currently taught in Ghanaian schools must be developed beyond just the basics.
He expressed elation at the programme, saying both the staff and pupils of the school had benefitted greatly from it.
He maintained that the school would integrate the knowledge acquired from the programme into their teaching of the subject of Physical education.