The atmosphere was one to remember: 1000 school kids all taking part in different activities from star jumps to baton relays. With the happy mascots Healthy Harry and Bee Active walking around cheering them on, every one of those kids had a big smile on their face.
The great thing is, not only did they spend the day being active, they also will have improved their inter-social skills and had a good experience – unlike the physical activity I remember from my school days,which would be long, enduring cross- country runs in the rain, having to wear the school PE kit,and feeling self-conscious the entire time. Worse still, the lesson in which class-mates got to pick others to be in their team; I was always the last to be picked, and these experiences led me to come up with excuses to get out of PE at school, and affected my self-confidence. If the activities had been like Fit for Sport at Everyone Active, I would have jumped at the chance of taking part.
At 17 years old I decided to take my own approach and become the fit one instead of the shy chubby one in the corner. In pursuit of this I went off to join the army. My point here is that if we are taught the right way we can each be the fit and healthy one.
I see what Fit for Sport is doing as an effective means of getting the right message across in a way that engages every kid, not just the naturally sporty ones, so no-one is ever left out.
Fit for Sport was the brain child of Dean Horridge, who realized how important it was for kids to be taught about the importance of activity and wellbeing. From what I saw, he has done this, and now they are on a mission, and have a pledge with Everyone Active to get 500,000 children engaged and active. Considering the kids I saw had nothing but fun, that will be a pretty easy target to reach.
With the rapid rise of childhood obesity which is, as we all know now, a ticking time-bomb, activity levels urgently need to be addressed right now. In this day and age, with fast food, Internet, Facebook and video games, our kids are eating a high-fat, salty diet and becoming inactive, which will lead them towards obesity, if this remains a daily routine.
So by simply showing alternatives and teaching about balance we can address this now. I believe it is important to educate from an early age through engaging them with a fun approach. I have put together a series of specially created books called Adventures in Luniper Land to address this.
The time to get our kids active is now.