Run, bike, swim — YMCA to hold Healthy Kids Day April 27
Apr 03, 2013 | 1665 views | 0 0 comments | 6 6 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Families from the Bradley County area will gather at the Cleveland Family YMCA on Saturday, April 27, for the Annual Healthy Kids Day, which kicks off with a TRYathlon for youth ages 6 to 12, said Lee McChesney, Cleveland Family YMCA executive director and vice president.

Healthy Kids Day is an activity-filled festival that showcases fitness programs and events designed to keep kids moving and having fun. Activities will include short fitness classes, the climbing wall from YMCA Camp Ocoee, and organized games.

Check-in for the TRYathlon will begin at 8 a.m. and the TRYathlon will start at 9 a.m. Participants will complete a 3/4-mile run, 1.0-mile bike ride and 100-yard swim in the indoor pool. Participants must complete a swim test and have a bike safety check prior to check-in. Those interested can register now for the free TRYathlon Clinic which will be held on April 23 at 6 p.m. at the YMCA with Scott’s bicycles doing safety checks. Swim tests will also be offered that evening, said McChesney.

As part of HKD activities, the Y will waive the joining fee from Saturday, April 21, through May 1. This will give families an opportunity to join the Y and experience all it has to offer which includes the indoor and outdoor pools, more than 80 group fitness classes each week, wellness center, youth and teen center, family and youth gymnasiums, racquetball, indoor and outdoor tracks, sauna, steam room, whirlpool, childwatch nursery, and more, added McChesney.

In addition to the TRYathlon, HKD in conjunction with Behavioral Research Institute will host a Day in the Park, on the grounds at the Y that will include games, inflatables from Bounce Around Playworld, and snacks. Many area agencies will also be on hand to provide fun and information about their services. Some of the agencies include the Ronald McDonald Care Mobile, and the Air Evac Life team helicopter, weather permitting.

Also included in this year’s Healthy Kids Day event will be an opportunity to safely dispose of old medicines. The Drug Enforcement Administration will be on hand to offer residents a chance to get rid of old pills, and unwanted medications in a safe manner during the sixth National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day. Residents can drop off expired or unused prescription medications and even controlled substances such as ADHD drugs.

Several sponsors have joined together to make Healthy Kids Day a success including the GRAAB Coalition which will sponsor T-shirts for the first 300 kids, healthy snacks from Bi-lo and Chick-fil-A, Coca-Cola and BRI.

“This day is designed to celebrate healthy living, encourage kids and families to get excited about physical fun and activity, and most importantly, just play,” said McChesney “Increasing physical activity is one way to get healthier, and doing it as a family is a great way to reconnect with one another.”

YMCA Healthy Kids Day is part of YMCA “Activate America,” a national long-term initiative focused on developing and implementing community-based solutions to help all Americans improve their health and wellness.

Serving over 19 million members, including 9 million youth under the age of 18, no other organization is better positioned to engage kids and families in fun and healthy physical activities than America’s YMCAs. In Cleveland, the YMCA serves over 2,100 children and teens a year, and financial assistance is available.

In 2012, the Y in partnership with United Way of Bradley County provided more than $110,000 in scholarships to children and individuals for memberships, summer camp, after school programs and more.

Encouraging kids to get active in their spare time is more important than ever, since nationally, physical education classes have been dramatically reduced.

According to the Institute of Medicine, daily physical education exists nationwide at only 8 percent of elementary schools, 6.4 percent of middle schools and 5.8 percent of high schools.

The Cleveland Family YMCA is part of a worldwide movement that began in London in 1844 and was established in Cleveland in 1949.

Today the YMCA is committed to building strong kids, strong families and strong communities by providing programs and services that help men and women, boys and girls grow stronger in spirit, mind and body. Their stated mission is to put Christian principles into practice through programs that build healthy spirits, minds and bodies for all.

YMCA programs and services include health and fitness activities, after school programs, day camp, resident camp, swim lessons, youth sports, family enrichment and over 30 programs for children and youth that provide tutoring, mentoring, leadership development, character development, wholesome recreation and community involvement.

Through these programs, the YMCA contributes to the health of the community, supports families, builds tomorrow’s leaders, enhances the educational system, works to prevent juvenile crime, promotes good citizenship and volunteerism, and gives parents of all incomes a caring and safe child care environment.

The YMCA is for everyone regardless of race, religion, gender, age, income or ability. The YMCA’s financial assistance program, supported in part through contributions to the United Way, provides scholarships for YMCA programs and services for those in need within available resources.

For more details, contact the Cleveland Family YMCA at 423-476-5573.