The Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office is giving P100,000 for the walking program of the Foundation University.
Dr. Aparicio Mequi, director of the University’s Institute for Youth Sports and Peace, announced the PCSO grant in Wednesday’s meeting of the university administrative council.
Mequi introduced the walking program in 2009 after a study conducted by Physical Education teacher Kathleen Dellona revealed that almost half of entering freshman students exhibited health risks due to obesity, which is a precursor to non-communicable lifestyle diseases such as cancer, diabetes, hypertension and heart ailments.
The program requires all P.E. students to walk a quarter marathon or 10.5 kilometers as requirement for passing the course. It got candidates for various positions in the 2010 elections to walk from Valencia to Dumaguete, that is about 9-km., to prove their fitness to run for public office.
Six Quarter Marathon Walk for Wellness and the Environment had been staged so far, each with some 1,000 walkers and FU spends about P15,000 for each staging. Clearly, there is a need for a sponsor to sustain it, Mequi said.
Upon learning that health and wellness of Filipinos is one of the major concerns of the PCSO, Mequi lost no time in submitting a proposal, citing the benefits of walking and of walkable communities.
Apart from the proposal, Mequi also submitted a proposed logo which made use of the agency’s existing emblem with the addition of walking footwear.
“We thought that this should attract favorable response, and it certainly did!” he said.
With funding support from PCSO, FU is committed to sustain the QMWWE for the rest of 2012 and even up to early next year.
Program participants will receive certificates as well as special PCSO “walkers for life” t-shirts. Those who will complete four quarter marathon walks will become members of the “Walkers for Life" association, a group of young people and adults, who adopts and lives “the vigorous life of the global community of healthy people on a healthy planet earth”.*AP
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