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Being active should be fun for everyone

Who better to offer advice on keeping kids excited about being healthy than kids themselves?

Author: Peter/Thursday, May 07, 2015/Categories: Health, Volunteering, National, Washington shared, Life after 50

If it’s not fun, it won’t get done. That’s a mantra often heard around the kids and adults who meet each week through CATCH Healthy Habits, an Oasis program supported by Anthem Foundation to build good eating and physical activity habits for a lifetime.

Hannah Ott

Hannah Ott, age 10, talks about including all kids in physical activities. "My favorite part of the Oasis program is that we get to play games, and that everyone gets to do them."

Fourth-grader Hannah Ott, age 10, represented them well on May 5th on a Youth Panel at the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports & Nutrition’s Annual Meeting at the Hubert H. Humphrey Building as she told them about the fun she has with the Oasis volunteers and kids at Viers Mill ES in Silver Spring, MD.

Moderator Allyson Felix, a Council member and U.S. Olympic Track & Field Medalist, asked Hannah what she enjoyed about CATCH Healthy Habits.

“My favorite part of the Oasis program is that we get to play games, and that everyone gets to do them. We do dances where the kids and the adults make dance moves and we mix them together to make funny dance moves,” Hannah said.

Allyson said, “That sounds like fun. I think we all would enjoy that!”

To help more kids be healthy, Hannah suggested that there be more games that all kids can play, because “sometimes kids feel excluded.” 

Allyson explored the themes of sports, inclusion and fun with the other panelists.  

Allyson Felix talks with Youth Panel members

Allyson Felix, moderator, talks with Youth Panel members Hannah Ott, Ana Galaes, Karlie Harman and Caleb Davy during the Annual Meeting of the President's Council on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition.
  • Caleb Davy, age 13, just started learning wheelchair fencing through Disabled Sports USA. “I think it’s amazing that someone could come up with this idea to make disabled people part of something Olympians can do. Being part of a team is really great because you get to make friends and you know everyone’s there for you and you get to share the love.”
  • Karlie Harman, age 15, is quarterback for her high school football team and an ambassador for the Always #LikeAGirl campaign. When asked what “Like a Girl” meant to her, she said, “It means to give it your all and have confidence. A lot of younger girls have confidence, but lose it as they get older. We’re trying to show people that girls can do whatever they put their minds to. It’s really just about your heart.”
  • Ana Galaes, age 17, is an alumna of DC Scores, an after-school program that combines poetry, soccer and service learning. She talked about how her experience on the alumni soccer team and leadership board has helped her grow as a leader through her roles as a coach and a referee for younger kids. “When I was in third grade I didn’t fit in, but little by little, as I met DC Scores, they opened doors. It was really fun and I learned to express myself.”

The panelists had more suggestions for changes in the schools that are right in line with the lessons that CATCH Healthy Habits volunteers focus on with kids, like making more fresh fruits and vegetables available in the cafeteria and making breaks for recess available in middle and high school, not just elementary school.

Allyson Felix thanked the panel for sharing their experiences. “We took some notes and hope to go back and integrate your feedback into what we’re doing.” On Instagram she added later, “It is one of my biggest honors to serve on the President's Council on Fitness, Sports & Nutrition. We had a very productive meeting today with lots of new issues to tackle.”

A video of the panel discussion is available on the President's Council YouTube channel at
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wmw5rPbrN8A 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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