Due to the overwhelming demand of the public for physical activity sessions under the Jamaica Moves programme, the Ministry of Health (MOH), through its Jamaica Moves initiative, will now be training physical activity instructors to help facilitate these sessions.
These fitness sessions can be facilitated in any private, public or corporate entity, schools, organisations, etc under the Jamaica Moves name. The one-week training for the first group of fitness/physical activity trainers began on August 26 with 19 selected trainers for the first batch.
“We received over 40-plus applications after placing one ad in the paper and we are really happy about that, as we really want to provide Jamaicans the opportunity to understand who they can work out with, why to work out and the importance of a balanced diet and knowing your health status,” shared Takese Foga, director of health promotion and education at the Ministry of Health.
When asked about the training process, she shared, “So far, we’ve had them do a general written assessment, where they’ve been tasked with various scenarios to see how they would execute a session, what activities they would plan, as well as their knowledge on NCD (non-communicable diseases), nutrition and overall fitness.”
This process will determine if all 19 can be considered approved by the MOH.
In seeking to promote a cultural and behavioural change, the MOH aims to make health, wellness and fitness a habit among Jamaicans. The instructors, whether private trainers, gym instructors or the average fitness enthusiasts, will become certified Jamaica Moves instructors who will assist in promoting the lifestyle using their own spaces, as well as utilising the existing programme islandwide and within the parishes.
“Supporting the Jamaica Moves programme has be something that you love and live every day. As we seek to expand the programme, we are looking for persons who are committed to health, but, more importantly, enjoy and believe in the mantra of the campaign and are interested in the wellness benefit to persons,” shared Health Minister Dr Christopher Tufton.
“The reality is, we cannot do it alone; we need strong and sound soldiers in the field to help convert and overcome change and to reach the ordinary Jamaican citizen. We really need to get the average individual involved, and while we cannot answer the call to every company or organisation, we want to ensure that we can recommend persons that they can engage and who meet the guidelines of the Ministry of Health and the Jamaica Moves campaign,” Tufton said.