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    Action Men! PDF Print E-mail
    Written by Siobhan Harding   
    Tuesday, 18 June 2013 22:23

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    Every year since its inception, Man Matters has held a series of major events in line with the theme of Men's Health Week.  The theme this year was "be your own action hero" where men were encouraged to take action for themselves, to promote their own health and wellbeing, engage in community life and volunteering, re-enter education and to become more involved in family life.  Throughout Men's Health Week and particularly at the City Life Centre on Saturday in partnership with SureStart, that's exactly what hundreds of men from across Northern Ireland did!

    The day's events kicked off with the finals of the "SureStart United" football trophy.  The competition was fierce and fiery at times, but the Upper Springfield 'Saol Ur Surestart' came out cool winners in the end.

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    Competing for the Sure Start Shield The Lord Mayor presenting Saol Ur SureStart with the Shield                                

    With a major focus on men's health, a team of student nurses from QUB alongside nurses from Chest Heart and Stroke, carried out a whole battery of tests on scores of men (and some women too!).  This helped to raise awareness of the need to keep an eye on things like cholesterol, blood sugar, blood pressure, weight and diet, many of those things which men forget or ignore as "something for tomorrow".

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    Getting a health check from the student nurses at QUB and from representatives from Sport NI

    While the dads played football, had a health check, a Turkish shave or hair cut, the kids played on bouncy castles, go-Karts, took part in the Mini-Olympics, or even had a go at archery!  That was all before a bit of jump, jiggle and jive for the toddlers, some drumming and even magic tricks by Magic George!  Meanwhile the mums could get their nails done!

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    Taking the chance to get a massage or a Turkish Shave


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    Despite the rain there was a chance to try archery and go-karting


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    A picture tells a thousand words.......enjoying the magician!


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    Magic George Enjoying the Mini-Olympics with daddy

    The day was about fun and family but on the eve of Father's Day, it also had a serious side, not only in relation to men's health but in promoting the importance and value of dads as part of children's lives and the family.  This is something which we in Man Matters and SureStart know already.

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    Some of the dads and kids enjoying time with each other at the event

    Towards the end of the day, Belfast's First Citizen, the new Lord Mayor of Belfast Maírtín Ó Muilleoir came along, to present the SureStart trophy and medals to all the kids and their dads who participated in the days sport and fun events, taking time to talk to the many people present.  He said:

    "I have pledged to bring the people of Belfast together and that is why I am pleased to attend this cross-community event to celebrate Men's Health Week and Father's Day. It is the perfect time and place to highlight the importance of men's health. Therefore I call on everyone - not just men themselves - to do something practical to improve the health of men and boys, and I wish everyone a very happy Father's Day."


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    The Lord Mayor of Belfast with Man Matters and SureStart staff at the event
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    The Lord Mayor presenting medals to the kids and dads The SureStart girls working on reception

    Despite a little rain, this year's event was a great success.  Man Matters and SureStart would like to thank the staff of the City Life Centre who were so helpful in making the event happen, especially by providing lunch for hundreds of hungry parents and kids!

    A special thanks also to the Nursing students of QUB, Chest Heart and Stroke, Translink, Bowel Cancer UK, Cancer Focus, Job Assist, Beat the Recession and many others who came to the event to provide advice and information.

    Here's looking forward to next year and many more Action Heros!