Over 60 members of the Gurkha and Nepalese community received Gold medals at an award ceremony this week after successfully walking an incredible 260 miles to complete the Gurkha Marathon Challenge.
Members of the Gurkha and Nepalese community who traditionally may suffer from specific health problems received the awards for taking further action to improve their own health in this initiative that started last year. They had already achieved Bronze and Silver medals at an event earlier this year. One community member, Laxmi Rana has even lost a staggering 3 stones during her own challenge.
The Gurkha Challenge was organised by Diabetes Consultant, Dr Vinod Patel, Multi lingual Co-worker, Parveen Deen, Health Trainers, and the and the Diabetes team at the George Eliot Hospital in partnership with Nuneaton and Bedworth Borough Council. The aim of the project is to improve the health and wellbeing of the local Gurkha community and to encourage them to take more physical exercise such as walking/running, eating a healthy diet and losing weight, which would help to reduce the risks of obesity, heart disease, stroke, diabetes, high blood pressure, arthritis and many cancers.
The project was started with the local Nepalese group last year to coincide with the 2014 London Marathon. The project was planned with the Nepalese community leader, Om Gurung and involved the support of Health and Wellbeing advisors and other local community partners.
Participants in the challenge were encouraged to walk a mile each day to help improve their health. Everyone taking part also received healthy eating advice and tips to get fitter.
Gold awards were given to those that completed 26 miles, 10 times. Bronze Awards were given to everyone that completed 26 miles of walking within a month. Silver Awards were given to people that completed five separate 26 mile challenges. The event was held at the Newtown Road Centre in Nuneaton town centre.
Many of the Gurkha community were noticing a difference to their health. Some reported that they had lost weight, felt healthier, and others had seen a difference with stiff joints. Nuneaton and Bedworth residents may have seen members of the community walking around Nuneaton during their individual challenges.
Laxmi Rana has altogether has lost over 5 and a half stones through participation in the challenge, enjoying yoga and following other health advice and support from local health advisors.
Om Gurung, a Gurkha Veteran who helped organise the challenge said: “The event was originally set up to help community members with Diabetes but it has also been about keeping fit and healthy.”
George Eliot Hospital Diabetes Consultant, Dr Vinod Patel said: “Well done to everyone that received a Gold medal. This is the first initiative of its kind in the country and our local Gurkha Community are leading the way.
“It was so fantastic to see so many people again turn out to receive their awards, make our team feel so welcome and essentially tell us how the Gurkha Challenge is making a difference to their health.”
Notes to Editor:
George Eliot Hospital NHS Trust provides a range of hospital and community based services to more than 300,000 people across North Warwickshire, South West Leicestershire and North Coventry.
The hospital, which was opened in 1948 provides a range of elective, non-elective, surgical, medical, women’s, children’s, diagnostic and therapeutic services.
The Trust also provides a range of community services across Coventry, Warwickshire and Leicestershire.
For a full list of the services we provide, go to our website www.geh.nhs.uk/directory-of-services.