Kumar Sangakkara participates in Heart for Hearts charity run for heart health

Saturday, 14 September 2013 00:00 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

  • “Good to be involved in a charity run that focuses on a healthy lifestyle”: Kumar Sangakkara
  Participating in “Heart for Hearts”, the recently concluded charity run that raised funds for the upgrading of the cardiac unit at the Karapitiya Hospital, Galle, Kumar Sangakkara commented that it was indeed good to be involved in such a worthy cause. “Heart for Hearts” a unique charity run organised by the Ministry of Sports together with Sirasa/MBC Network, was held with wide participation at the Sports Ministry Grounds on 8 September. The event was aimed at generating awareness of the importance of developing healthy lifestyle that encourages cardiovascular health. Sponsored by Flora Sri Lanka, “Heart for Hearts” was supported by the Ministry of Health. The chief guest at the event was Minister for Youth Affairs and Skills Development Dullas Alahapperuma. All funds generated through “Heart for Hearts” are to be utilised towards the upliftment of the cardiac unit of the Karapitiya Hospital which serves as the hub for cardiac treatment in the Southern Province. Former Sri Lanka wicket keeper Romesh Kaluwitharana also took part in the run. “It is very relevant to create awareness of the need to stay active and healthy,” he said. Commenting on his participation: “Developing a healthy lifestyle is important not just for individuals but for the whole family. I am very happy to be associated with this event.” “Heart for Hearts” included a 3 kilometre fun run for men and women, a 6 kilometre women’s open run and a 9 kilometre open run for men. There was a cycling event as well. “Heart for Hearts” captured the hearts of an enthusiastic public who took part in each event with eagerness and commitment, turning up for the event early on a Sunday. Sponsoring the charity run, Flora margarine pledged Rs. 2.5 million through a pledge of Rs. 20 from each tub of Flora sold in August. As the leading healthy spread committed to creating awareness of the need to eat sensibly and stay active, “Heart for Hearts” was an excellent opportunity for Flora to generate awareness of the need to develop a healthy and active lifestyle. Attractive cash prizes and valuable certificates were awarded to the participants. Associated with the event were Advisor to the Minister of Health Dr. Upali Indrasiri, Ministry of Health Add. Secretary – Development K.A.S. Keeragala, Association of Community Physicians President Dr. Susie Perera, Sri Lanka Youth Chairman Lalith Piyum Perera, Sports Ministry Deputy Director Sajith Jayalal, Sirasa TV Channel Head Susara Dinal, Yes FM Channel Head Riyaz D. Shah Jahan and Unilever Sri Lanka Marketing Director Ramani Samarasundera. “Heart for Hearts” comes at a time when heart disease has been ranked as the No. 1 cause of hospital deaths in Sri Lanka. Dr. Mrs. Susie Perera said that as a nation, we need to change our attitudes towards eating habits and exercise. Dr. Susie Perera who is credited with the development of Super Eight, a set of guidelines on adapting a healthier lifestyle, says that making small changes in dietary patterns and activity levels can make a significant difference. Super Eight as a healthy lifestyle concept, advocates maintaining a Body Mass Index (BMI) of 18.5 to 24.9, limiting salt and sugar intake, at least 30 minutes of moderate exercising, consuming five servings of fruit and vegetables daily, minimising foods containing trans fats, avoiding smoking, alcohol and maintaining a normal level of blood pressure below 140/90. “Heart for Hearts” charity run is one of the many activities Flora is associated with in advocating a healthy and an active lifestyle. Among Flora’s endeavours is the sponsorship and set up of the cycle booth at the Independence Square. Managed by the UDA under the Ministry of Defence, the booths rent out cycles for exercising with the funds generated channelled towards the maintenance of the premises and welfare of armed forces personnel.