YMCA celebrates fitness with Heathly Kids Day
By PAMELA GRANT
With school ending soon and summer on the horizon, many kids will be content to simply watch television or play video games.
This Saturday, YMCAs across the United States promoted the health and well-being of children with their Healthy Kids Day. Copperas Cove’s Armed Services YMCA partnered with CCISD and Metroplex to offer a variety of fun, health-oriented activities to encourage children to be more active both mentally and physically. The event was free and open to the public.
The YMCA has a lot to offer, and Saturday’s event helped highlight what’s available, including their upcoming summer camps. Cove’s YMCA director, Doreen Vasseur, estimated that close to 200 people participated in this year’s Healthy Kids Day event.
The YMCA had a variety of booths including ones promoting churches, education, medical health, physical activities, and more.
“We invited the whole community…We tried to get a little of everything out here. We’re talking about health and what is healthy for the kids. It’s just a fun free day for the kids,” said Vasseur. “We hope they understand that the Y is here for them and we have a lot more to offer than people realize, and they’ll see that we care about their health and their welfare.”
The event promoted physical activity by offering a variety of fun activities like a human obstacle course, dancing, a cakewalk, and more throughout the event. They had booths promoting exercising through activities like fencing, football, and cheerleading.
“My kids grew up in the Y, so I feel a big connection to it since they spent pretty much every day in the gym,” said Preston Phillips, athletic director for Cove Jr. Dawgs Football & Cheer. Phillips was on hand at the event to promote their team as well as register kids for football and cheerleading. Phillips also helped make the event enjoyable for the kids when he volunteered to be one of the obstacles in the human obstacle course event.
Metroplex and Carter BloodCare represented the medical side of being healthy at the event.
Shari Owens, an RN for Metroplex, helped run one of two Metroplex booths. At her booth, they showed children how to do hands only CPR. They had dummies which the children could practice doing chest compressions.
“We have had an amazing response,” said Owens. “Many of the kids are willing to jump right in.”
Owens said that just doing the chest compressions is better than doing nothing to help. She hopes that by practicing and learning more, it will help make sure that the kids are not afraid to help out if it ever becomes necessary in the future.
Members of the Five Hills Royalty, always helpful members of the community, were available throughout the day at the YMCA to help make activities as fun as possible. They had their own booth where they painted nails, signed people up for Lemonade Day, and let others try on their tiaras.
“It’s been super fun being able to do things such as playing musical chairs and tug of war,” said Emily Kimball (11), Five Hills Ambassador. “It’s also been fun helping other kids feel confident and having a tiara on their head and be able to feel like a princess and painting their nails, so they feel pretty.”
Brandy Petty attended the event with her son, Zachary Petty (11). She coordinates parent and community outreach for Mae Stevens Elementary School. Petty said many parents have been asking her about including more health and fitness related things for the school. She added that the Healthy Kids Day event was making that easier.
“It’s really good. I love it. It brings all sorts of people into one place,” said Petty. “It helps with making connections with people in the community. I like that Doreen puts this together.”