As Botswana tries to achieve one of its Vision 2016 Pillars of “a healthy nation”, the call for living healthy lives and to help fight obesity also continues to rise.
The call was amplified recently when President Ian Khama jokingly said that he wanted a slim wife and not a big-bodied wife who will not make it through the door.
Bad nutrition and lack of exercising are some of the core problems at the heart of unhealthy living in the modern society. This lack, often fuelled by lack of knowledge or, at times, financial constraints, has led one local church to come up with an outreach programme aimed at meeting this need, whilst at the same time equipping people with life skills to develop their lives.
The programme, dubbed “Fitness for Real Life”, a brain child of Harvest Christian Church in Botswana is, according to personal trainer and the outreach’s fitness facilitator, Daniel Mitchell, aimed at transforming lives of local communities.
Mitchell said that the programme, though targeting a wide spectrum of people, will mainly be aimed at housewives, teenagers as well as underprivileged people who are interested in becoming personal trainers. “We will be aiming for housewives who are always home, with no income and want to improve their lives but cannot afford to. We want them to live productive lives in their everyday lives,” Mitchell said.
He says this is imperative as these women have a stake of not just taking care of their families but also have to raise families. With regards to teenagers and the unemployed, Mitchell says they intend to take them off the streets and teach them how to live their lives productively.
For those interested in being personal trainers, Mitchell says they will be given the necessary skills to be certified personal trainers.
On what prompted him to look to fitness training for his outreach programme, Mitchell informed Sunday Standard Lifestyle that the need for such a programme became apparent when he was approached by some people at the church who were interested in fitness training but were turned off by the price tag as they could not afford it.
He says that, apart from fitness and nutrition, the programme will also seek to “include practical help in coming off binge drinking, career and job-seeking skills”.
The programme was officially launched by four time grand slam champion, Mary Pierce, who is in Botswana on a private visit.