Jamaica Gleaner / Not even the heavy downpour of rain, associated with an early-season cold front, was enough to stop residents of St Elizabeth from moving when the Jamaica Moves campaign made a stop in Black River last Friday for the St Bess Fitness Celebration.
The morning started with clear skies as residents headed out for a 5K Walk/Run to start the day’s activities. Throughout the day, scores of residents from St Elizabeth and surrounding areas took advantage of free medical checks such as diabetes, hypertension, mammograms, prostate examinations, HIV tests, as well as dental examinations and cleaning.
St Elizabeth parish health education and promotion officer Marion Waysome-McIntyre said the team was positively amazed by the support the event and overall programme received from the citizens.
“The turnout was nothing less than amazing, and the high energy of the crowd was palpable.
“It was evident that there was a deep sense of commitment and determination not to be deterred by the inclement weather, as even with the heavy and continuous rains we received, persons were still dancing and exercising while having a great time,” Waysome-McIntyre said.
The excitement of the evening session, which would include various forms of exercises and a thrilling performance by dancehall duo RDX, was threatened when the heavy downpour began. This did not daunt the crowd, however, who were determined to get their exercise in, whether rain or shine. Dozens of persons worked out in the pouring rain, much to the amazement of Health Minister Dr Chris Tufton.
“It was amazing to see that even when the rain started, there were still people in the rain working out and having a good time. I was inclined to go join them. I feel like this shows that people were really excited for, not just the programme and the events, but the message of taking our health into our own hands,” Dr Tufton said after the event.
The Jamaica Moves programme is fuelled through partnership, with Jamaica National Group, CHASE Fund, RJRGLEANER Communications Group, National Health Fund, National Baking Company, The Heart Foundation and WATA.
Jamaica Moves will next stop in May Pen, Clarendon, on November 30.