A group of cyclists from the Swindon Tamil Association are taking the road to a healthy heart by cycling to Devizes and back as part of World Heart Day weekend to raise money for national charity Heart Research UK.
The cyclists will start on Saturday 28 September from Kings Hill Canal in Swindon and travel the 50 miles round trip to Devizes to spread the message about adopting a heart-healthy lifestyle and taking part in more exercise.
World Heart Day on Sunday 29 September has its theme this year: “Take the road to a Healthy Heart” which is encouraging people to adopt heart-healthy living from childhood and throughout adulthood – something which the Swindon Tamil Association cyclists have taken literally.
Ram Thiagarajah, president of the Swindon Tamil Association, is organising the weekend event which will fundraise via sponsorship of the riders. The STA received a Heart Research UK and SUBWAY® Healthy Heart Grant of nearly £9,000 in 2011 for a project that focused on dancing, walking and health workshops.
Said Ram: "We realised the benefits of exercise for a healthy heart and decided to continue with our programme after the Healthy Heart project was completed in autumn last year. Some of us have taken up cycling and it is very appropriate that we are doing this sponsored event on World Heart Day with all donations going to Heart Research UK. I wish the cyclists the best of luck and hope the weather is kind to them."
Swindon’s Tamil community was inspired to take care of their hearts on the back of statistics that show that In the UK, men and women of the South Asian community have a 50% higher risk of dying from heart disease.
When the project started only one in four people in the community were doing exercise and a third of children and one in 10 adults were overweight. One in five adults also had raised blood pressure.
Since completing the project last year 90% of the 345 people who took part said they would be continuing with the exercise/dance and walking clubs. More than 95% felt they had benefitted from the project and had a better understanding of a heart-healthy lifestyle and healthy eating while 40% confirmed that they had since made changes to their eating habits.
Now some of those who took part in the project are taking to the road to continue their journey in improving their heart health.
Anyone wishing to sponsor /donate to the cyclists (all proceeds go to Heart Research UK) please send cheques (payable to Heart Research UK) to 247 Marlborough Road, Swindon SN3 1NN.
For further information contact Chris Child on 0113 297 6207
You can also follow Heart Research UK on Twitter: http://twitter.com/heartresearchuk or become a fan of our Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Heart-Research-UK/10733061906