Press Release

Ministry of Health & Social Development
Public Health
Release Date:
Friday, 4 March 2016 - 5:15pm

A new fitness challenge has been issued to encourage more sustained walking among groups and individuals.

The “Around the World in 52 Weeks” challenge is geared for ten-member groups to walk around the world for an estimated 24 million steps. Individuals will also take a Volcanic Relief Mission to Montserrat for a total of 2.6 million steps during the course of the challenge.

Registration has begun and will continue until March 31. Participants will pay a fee of $30 which will cover the cost of a 64 oz. thermos water bottle, a portion control plate and reflective gears for walking safety at nights.

Programme Coordinator, Ms. Sophia Brewley-Massiah explained that this challenge combines physical activity and healthy eating. She said participants will be required to increase their water intake every day. 

Ms. Brewley-Massiah  said, “The challenge will also focus on improving eating habits by using the portion control plate when eating and adding more fruits and vegetables, and  cutting back on sugary drinks.”

She added “We kept receiving calls encouraging us to introduce the ‘wow factor’.  So we decided to extend the challenge to focus on behavioural change for life and to combine physical activity and healthy eating, which are two protective factors that will improve health and help delay the onset or prevent common NCDs and their risk factors.”

The fitness challenge is a part of the VI Run/Walk programme which seeks to increase physical activity through widespread participant walking for adults between the ages of 25 to 64.

The inspiration behind the run/walk programme is to increase physical activity of the residents of the BVI in an effort to improve health and wellness and reduce the Territory’s vulnerability to non-communicable diseases (NCDs) such as heart diseases, diabetes and some cancers.

This is one of many initiatives being undertaken through the Health and Wellness and Non-communicable Diseases Prevention Programme.  It is a collaborative effort between the Ministry of Health and Social Development and the BVI Olympic Committee.

Interested persons can contact Ms. Sophia Brewley-Massiah at 468-4595 or via email at sbrewley-massiah@gov.

The Ministry of Health and Social Development has implemented a ten-year strategy to improve the health and wellbeing of the population and reduce the rising prevalence of non-communicable diseases. The strategy prioritises prevention by integrating policies and action across multiple settings where people live, play and work to improve health and save lives.


Natasha Lettsome-Humphrey

Public Health Communications Specialist
Ministry of Health/Social Development
Telephone: 468-2286