A PAIR of Paralympians have visited Sully to inspire a group of disabled adults to keep their hearts healthy.
Sprinter Rhys Jones and shot-putter Kyron Duke were at the Scope Centre on Wednesday November 28 as part of a project funded by a Heart Research UK and Healthy Heart Grant of £9,500, in association with Subway.
Shared out across three centres in Sully, Cwmbran and Bridgend, the 'Calon Hapus' or 'Happy Hearts' programme is run by Scope Cymru,for fun and educational purposes.
Over the past few months, both the Sully and Cwmbran Centres have hosted their own Olympic games, where over 110 disabled adults came along - more than double the number planned.
Scope have incorporated the Healthy Heart message into a wide range of on-going activities, including practical lessons on heart health and a great range of physical activities.
From karate, aerobics, belly dancing, tennis and gardening and a wheelchair keep fit club, participants have been able to exercise their hearts and bodies whatever their level of disability.
The Sully Centre's onsite tuck shop has also been completely revamped to offer healthier alternatives, smaller portions and healthy heart cooking lessons supported by a dietician, giving the participants basic skills for improving their diets, and its walking group have been out braving the weather and even popped into the local Subway for a low-fat sub.
Art has proven another great vehicle for discussing good and bad lifestyle habits and some fantastic displays were produced, such as "Give smoking the chop", "Smash bad habits" and a large scale Food pyramid. A board game based around health was also designed which is now being used across all three centres.
Both Rhys, who competed in the 100m and 200m, and Kyron, who took part in the javelin and shot putt at this summer's Paralympics, have inspired those taking part in the project. Twenty-year-old Kyron used to help out at the Cwmbran Centre with his mum and said: "It is a lot harder for people here to get the things they need and to do the training, but it is encouraging them in a more active lifestyle and healthy eating."
Rhian Thomas, manager of the Sully Centre said: "The funding has given us a massive platform to build on. We've been able to get everyone thinking about what they eat and we've even started to pull together a cook book of heart-healthy eating. Everyone here has embraced the activities and it is already inspiring them to take on changes however small."
Adele Gilmour, senior statutory and EU fundraiser at Scope Wales, added: "The project has been a real boost to our day to day work. It has enabled us to deliver a programme of activities which in the long term will support disabled people to make significant changes to their lives and lifestyle which should benefit their heart health."
* Scope Cymru, a charity that supports disabled people and their families across Wales, have been running the project since they were awarded the HRUK and Subway Healthy Heart Grant of £9,500, last September.