By Rachel Parks, III Corps & Fort Hood Public AffairsApril 14, 2011
FORT HOOD, Texas -- Children of all ages and their parents got moving April 9, 2011, at Venable Village Elementary School during the Let's Move Fort Hood event. The local event was part of the nationwide Let's Move initiative, which is a program championed by First Lady Michelle Obama.
The goal of the program is to get kids and families active. The program is also designed to educate American kids and parents about healthy food choices and exercise in an effort to prevent childhood obesity.
At the Fort Hood event, kids were able to take part in timed Hula-Hoop and jump rope sessions, test their speed and agility with a shuttle run or try out some dance steps in a mini-Zumba class.
Kristine Fernandez, the assistant director for the Youth Sports Program at Child, Youth and School Services, said the Let's Move Fort Hood event was designed with a simple goal in mind.
"Our goal is to get people informed about the different ways to get active and moving in this area with their families," she said. "We hope to get everyone healthy and fit and having a good time at the same time."
Staff members from Child, Youth and School Services were on hand to time the sports events, demonstrate proper fitness techniques and answer questions about physical activity, sports and healthy food choices.
"The goal is knowledge, knowledge, knowledge," Fernandez said. "We hope they (military kids and families) use that knowledge to get fit and healthy."
In order to encourage maximum participation at the Let's Move Fort Hood event, the demonstrations were held in conjunction with the first games of the Fort Hood youth soccer leagues.
The Child, Youth and School Services soccer teams are popular with many Fort Hood families and offer an opportunity for kids to exercise and meet new friends. This year, the league has added soccer teams for 3- and 4-year-old athletes.
Brandy Hines, a volunteer coach for the Mighty Mini League, said the program is off to a good start.
"We're learning the basic techniques, how to kick the ball, using teamwork, being able to pass, picking up the ball and throwing it in, that kind of stuff," she said after the game.
She said starting sports at a young age helps give children a basis in fitness and improves other life skills.
"I think opportunities like this are really important because at ages 3 and 4, they're not used to being away from mom and dad. A lot of the time this is the first chance of participating in sports and the first chance to interact with other kids," she added.
Hines said soccer is not the only sports league offered by Child, Youth and School Services. Children can also participate in cheerleading, basketball, baseball and other sports throughout the year.
Amy Callicott, another coach in the Mighty Mini League, brought her two children, Adam and Charlotte, to the Let's Move Fort Hood event after the soccer game.
"It's nice to be able to come out and do this," Callicott said before her children took part in a Zumba class. "They have so much information that's really useful. It's just important to get the kids active."