Cabbies drive to health

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Derry taxi drivers have been honoured by the Mayor after receiving an All-Ireland award for their drive for healthier lifestyles.

The North West Taxi Proprietors (NWTP) body has been commended by Derry’s Mayor Alderman Maurice Devenney after being named runners-up in the 2011 Pride of Place Competition run by Cooperation Ireland.

NWTP received the all Ireland award for their Driving 2 Health programme funded by the Big Lottery Fund which creates opportunity for people to change their lifestyle under supervision of qualified trainers.

The winners of the 2011 Pride of Place Competition run by Cooperation Ireland were announced at a gala celebration ceremony in Gorey, Co. Wexford last month.

More than 500 people from every county on the island were in attendance to hear the results of the 9th annual competition.

Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government Phil Hogan along with Co-operation Ireland Chairman Christopher Moran and Pride of Place Committee Chairman Tom Dowling presented the winning groups with their awards.

Participants in the Driving 2 Health programme are given an MOT Health check then offered the opportunity to join the programme which monitors their BMI (Body Mass Index), Blood sugars, Cholesterol, Lung capacity and resting heart rate.

Participants are provided with gym membership and put through a rigorous physical exercise programme for 26 weeks as well as being made aware of any poor eating habits.

The programme is mainly aimed at taxi drivers but a number of people from the community have also participated in the D2H programme.

NWTP were runners up in the Cities Competition under Category 4 which was for Community Health Initiatives.

“It is great that the work of both NWTP and the Sports Development is acknowledged by an independent body and that is down to the team effort and partnership of both staffs that have helped to make this a successful programme and I congratulate all of them on winning this award,” said Eamonn O’Donnell, NWTP Chair.