News: Staying 'kid' fit all spring long
Story by Kristen Wong
MARINE CORPS BASE HAWAII - “St. Patrick’s Day!” Four children shouted the holiday from mid-court to more than 20 of their peers, lined up against the wall of the Semper Fit Center Gym, March 17, kicking off the most recent KidFit session which runs through March 21, 2014.
Upon hearing the signal, the children against the wall charged across the wooden floor, evading the four designated to “tag” them out. In honor of St. Patrick’s Day, the children enrolled in the weeklong KidFit program played their first game, “Fruit Salad,” with a holiday theme.
“I like the game ‘Fruit Salad,’” said participant Villy Kitzmiller, 8. “I got tagged almost every time.”
Eligible children ages 6 to 12 can participate in KidFit, engaged in various exercises and games in the gym or at Riseley Field from 8:30 to 11 a.m. each day. In addition, the children may even learn a thing or two about nutrition.
“We did KidFit for seven (sessions) and we were sold out every week,” said Beckie Page, the assistant manager for Semper Fit. “It’s a great way for them to learn all aspects of physical well-being. By keeping kids active, they’re going to want to continue to be active.”
Page said KidFit is a “great opportunity (for kids) to bond with other kids,” and gives parents free time to do their own workout routine.
Children are expected to wear “play” clothes and running shoes; and bring a water bottle and a snack. KidFit participants are also allowed to wear whatever they choose (with parent approval), on Fridays, which they call Freaky Friday.
The children warmed up with various moves such as “monster walks,” side shuffles and skips. After the warm-up, the children play various games, from “Around the World” to “Fruit Salad.”
Page mentioned that, during KidFit, the children engaged in exercises like Zumba, kickboxing and yoga, which children may recognize are similar to the classes their parents attend.
Participant Anna Quinn said she likes working out at KidFit, and enjoyed playing “Around the World,” a game in which participants run around a circle of their peers, carrying a ball while music plays. When the music stops, the participant does jumping jacks, mountain climbers or any other exercise the instructors designate before passing the ball to the next person in the circle.
Fitness specialist Sarah Neumann, one of the instructors for KidFit, said the program teaches children teamwork, good sportsmanship and basic skills they would need in sports.
“I think it’s a very well-rounded program,” Neumann said. “Beckie does a great job coordinating it.”
Neumann added that because many participants are military children who move frequently, programs like KidFit give them a good opportunity to make friends. Children of varying ages also get the chance to interact, and she added the program also gives siblings a chance to participate in the same program together.
For participant Jesse Dunn, 10, KidFit may be difficult, but also fun. He said he enjoyed playing games, like “Fruit Salad.”
“It’s really good,” said participant Emily Pashley. “You get to try new things, meet new people.”
Pashley added that it’s something to do when school is out for the holidays.
The next KidFit is scheduled June 2, and registration is scheduled to begin around April. For eligibility rules, parents are encouraged to call Semper Fit. For more information, call 254-7597.