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Boys & Girls Club of Ottawa County has Fun with the National Fitness Competition

The National Fitness Competition is a BGCA program sponsored by Nestlé. Twice per school year – once in the fall and again in the spring – participating Clubs hold local Fitness Competitions designed to engage and inspire members of all ages, genders, interests and abilities. These one-day events incorporate a variety of fun, "field day"-style activities. Club members have opportunities to "compete against themselves" by tracking their accomplishments and striving for improvement – helping them build intrinsic motivation, confidence, and physical competence.

The Boys & Girls Club of Ottawa County held their own local Fitness Competition on May 7th. They had 11 participants this time, and are hoping to continually increase attendance with each event. Some of the stations the youth participated in were a Shuttle Run, Hula Hoop Challenge, 50-yard Dash, Bulls-Eye (throwing a ball through a hoop from a distance of 25 feet), an Obstacle Course, and a Tug-of-War competition. The Club advertised their T.R.A.I.L. program at this event, and had participating youth prepare a healthy lunch for all participants and families.

All youth that participated in the event got a T-shirt, dog tag necklace, certificate, and the top performers for each age group in each category received a medal. Trophies were also handed out for the three team events. Some of the parents even got involved, and everyone had a great time!

Eight out of the eleven participants are current mentees in the Club’s OJP Mentoring program. The Fitness Competition was designed as a family-centered event, and they were glad to see that most parents stayed to watch their children compete. Parents, as well as former and current mentors, also ran stations at the event. Two parents had so much fun watching their children participate that they even joined in for some "Adults v. Youth" team events!

Ottawa County is planning to host a "preview" Fitness Challenge this summer to get their youth excited about the next official fitness event this fall.

Story written by Maria Olson, AmeriCorps VISTA at Boys & Girls Club of Ottawa County