Boundaries for Life target cricket fans
An innovative new project targeting cricket fans attending England's international fixtures at the Kia Oval this year is expected to save lives through early detection of major killers such as obesity, cardiovascular disease and oral cancer.
These disorders represent a growing public health problem in the UK, and are particularly prevalent within South Asian communities.
The health promotion intervention, called Boundaries for Life, will make its debut at tomorrow's England v Sri Lanka NatWest series match, and will be repeated at the Test and one-day matches against India later in the summer.
Fans attending the match over the age of 35 will be eligible to participate in a free health screening process - similar to a car's annual MOT check - that will measure blood pressure, body mass index and cholesterol levels, all key indicators relating to chronic diseases.
The checks are only 15-20 minutes long, whilst participants will also be given the opportunity to see a dentist who will perform a basic mouth screen looking for signs of mouth damage associated with potentially cancerous conditions.
All participants will be given simple healthy lifestyle advice, and where necessary, an additional referral letter to their doctor or dentist for follow up.
Referring to the benefits of this new initiative Dr Chet Trivedy, clinical lead for Boundaries for Life, commented: "Given that men in their 30's and 40's are particularly poor at presenting early symptoms of diseases to their GP, and with the additional limitations on access to dental services, the availability of free health and dental checks in the relaxed atmosphere of a sporting event is a valuable resource in the early detection of killers such as obesity, cardiovascular diseases and oral cancer."
The Boundaries for Life project has been devised by a small consortium of health and sports stadia professionals, with the screening service provided by a team of volunteers including doctors, dentists and nurses.
Trials of the service at previous domestic and international cricket matches has been popular with fans who are simply interested in checking their current state of health, and in certain cases has resulted in immediate referrals for participants in light of acute symptoms.
Richard Gould, chief executive officer of the Kia Oval said: "We are delighted to support the Boundaries for Life health checks that will be taking place over the course of our international fixtures this summer.
“This type of service is a fantastic way of contributing to the future health of cricket fans supporting England, Sri Lanka and India who may not normally access health services due to time constraints, and underlines our commitment to community engagement and social responsibility".
Time and location: Health checks will be offered in the Ben Hollioake Learning Centre accessed via the Lambeth Hall in the OCS Stand at the Kia Oval from 11.00am until approximately 5.00pm on the day of the England v Sri Lanka NatWest Series match.