PLAYERS from the Cheshire Phoenix basketball team have been visiting primary schools to teach pupils how to keep their hearts healthy.
The ‘Hoops 4 Healthy Heart’ project aimed to improve children’s heart health by helping them to acquire the knowledge, attitudes and behaviour that lead to healthy lifestyle choices.
The programme run by the Jets Foundation used the £4,814 Heart Research UK and Subway Healthy Heart Grant to visit eight primary schools and deliver classroom-based sessions on healthy hearts and the effects of smoking followed by fitness and basketball sessions.
These sessions have led to a ‘Hoops 4 Healthy Hearts’ tournament to be played during the Phoenix home game on Sunday, October 13. Four of the eight schools will be competing at half-time.
More than 680 pupils were directly involved in learning how to keep their hearts healthy with the programme taking place in Blacon and Ellesmere Port.
Phoenix players were role models for the children and developed their interest in keeping active through sport and physical exercise.
Deborah Johnson, who teaches at Westminster Community Primary School in Ellesmere Port, said: “The healthy heart message was excellent. The children were able to ask any questions and everything was explained very clearly.”
Phil Hamilton, a teacher at Woodlands County Primary School in Ellesmere Port, said: “Many of the children said it was their favourite primary school memory and the feedback from the parents was very good.
“As a result we had many more children playing basketball during their playtimes and lunch breaks.”
Barbara Harpham, national director at Heart Research UK, says: “It’s great to see local role models getting involved in helping to spread the Healthy Heart message to the community.
“The basketball tournament during a Cheshire Phoenix game in front of hundreds of people will be a fantastic life experience that the pupils will never forget.”