Kaeleb and Sylvia Valentine were referred to the Harbour Sport Active Families programme in July 2016, by their Public Health Nurse on the Hibiscus Coast.
Kaeleb, who has Grade 4 Cerebral Palsy, and his sister Sylvia were in need of some support to improve their activity levels, and make positive changes to their nutrition.
With the support of their dad Shane, Kaeleb and Sylvia started attending the regular Wednesday night activity sessions, at the Northcote Baptist Church Hall. Initially, the family were keen to see how the sessions went, especially with Kaeleb being in a wheelchair, and Sylvia having some sight difficulties. “I was keen to see how things would go, as this is something completely new for Kaeleb”, said Shane.
After a few weeks, the family were loving it!! They were keen to commit to the programme, and an initial family meeting was planned to set some goals.
Kaeleb and Sylvia, both engaged in the initial meeting and the family set some ambitious, but achievable goals. Their goals included reducing their intake of sugary drinks and takeaways, as well as increasing their activity levels from week to week.
After six months and two Terms on Active Families, both Kaeleb and Sylvia, have made some amazing changes! Both of them have increased their activity time each week by around 2-2.5 hours on average, largely by planned activities at the park and pool.
The family have reduced their intake of sugary drinks by around 75% of their initial consumption, and more importantly they have started eating more vegetables at dinner time. Snacks now consist of fruit and vegetables, and their water intake has doubled, to around 1.5-2 litres per day. As a result, Kaeleb has lost around 8kg, from July to December, and Sylvia has reduced her body fat percentage by over 4%.
Shane attributes this success to planning their approach to nutrition and exercise. Shane remarks, “Having some goals in place, and plans to achieve those goals, has been a big help in overcoming our barriers to maintaining a healthy lifestyle”.
The Active Families Team are stoked to have Kaeleb, Sylvia and Shane on the programme. The family hardly ever miss a session, and we have to commend Shane for the outstanding support he shows to his family!!
This story was provided by Auckland’s Harbour Sport.
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