Health and Well Being

© Ocean/Corbis

A phrase very commonly being bandied about lately and that is generating interest due to various reasons, Health and Well-Being has scaled also the grand heights of policy-making at that most venerable of institutions, the European Commission.

The Union-wide budget for the next seven years, to 2020, will see each state devoting time, energy and finances to raise citizens’ awareness of the obvious benefits to the mind and body, increased longevity, within the joys of exercise; of increased leisure time – all meant to reduce the Bills of Health of the Member States, hospital occupancy and social security payments – all the while raising the standard of living.

It is no small wonder then that sport is cutting in to attract the numbers, as expressed by that most basic and fundamental exercise – running.

Most people nowadays jog, walk or enrol in a gym, but for those more willing to also include a competitive element, taking part in an organised race retains an attraction of its own. An ever increasing spate of runners, joggers or walkers is witness to this. In Malta it is no different, especially with its benevolent weather.

An event coming up this April, combining the spirit of participation, fun and appreciation of leisure time is the Pembroke-Swieqi Road Race and Fun Festival, now in its 20th edition. An anniversary in its own right in this year of anniversaries. In recent years attracting a participation of some 1400 persons, mostly children of all ages, it also incorporates – in fact this was how it started – a 10 km road race in the most challenging of situations, taking in the sloping hills of the towns of Pembroke and Swieqi for its undulating course.

For the less prepared – or more specialised, depending on how one looks at it – there is also a 5km race, and for budding teenagers, two races each 3km long, besides the ever-popular FUN RUN. Embracing the Health and Well-Being element there is also the event that perhaps embodies this spirit. This is a 7km Walk, a go-as-you-please event which is neither competitive nor a lazy amble. Best of all, proceeds go to the Inspire Foundation, a voluntary body admirably assisting persons with various disabilities. Interested in participating?

E-mail pembrokeathleta@gmail.com for more details. www.pembrokeathleta.com