Letters to the Editor

NHF had everything in place for smooth weigh-in day

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

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Dear Editor,

In response to the letter to the editor, entitled 'NHF weigh-in day a ball of discourtesy', published in the Monday, September 18, 2017 edition of the Jamaica Observer we write to outline the events at last Saturday's weigh-in and to reiterate that the National Health Fund (NHF) holds the competitors in the NHF Work-it-Out Weight Loss Challenge in the highest esteem.

Approximately 650 individuals from Kingston and St Andrew, St Catherine and St Thomas were measured and counselled by nutritionists in the space of five hours on Saturday between 8:00 am and 1:00 pm.

The Mico University College auditorium was set up with six registration stations, 10 blood pressure stations, and 20 stations for weight and height. In addition, stations were set up for dynamometer tests and for one-leg stands in the pavilion area by the Mico field, and the one-lap race was done on the playing field. Nutrition counselling sessions were staged in four classrooms in the historic Buxton Building.

An NHF promotion agent was positioned at the finish line of the 400-metre lap to distribute a bottle of water and a banana on completion of the one-lap race. The agent informed that the distribution was working well, except for one female competitor who went into the box twice, taking two bananas each time, and on her third attempt the promotion agent asked her not to do so. She wanted to ensure everyone was served. The competitor took offence to this and started to quarrel in a loud voice. She was so loud that the officials noting the times for the competitors had to ask her to tone down.

Registration clerks were advised to tell the participants about the process and announcements about the day's proceedings were made regularly on the public address system in the auditorium. In days leading up to weigh-in, participants were also advised of what would be involved during the weigh-in.

The weigh-in moved very quickly and smoothly; however, we subsequently realised that the area assigned for the dynamometer test and one-leg stand was too small. As a result, space was created in the auditorium and the two fitness tests were moved to this area for smooth operation. The NHF senior public relations officer apologised to the participants for the inconvenience associated with this process and subsequently the fitness tests continued with a smooth flow.

As always, the NHF welcomes criticism, whether favourable or not, as we aim to continuously improve our programmes.

Shermaine Robotham

Health promotion & public relations manager

srobotham@nhf.org.jm

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