Jayhawk Student-Athletes Participate in Kansas Kids Fitness Day

May 4, 2009

LAWRENCE, Kan. — More than 20 University of Kansas student-athletes volunteered their time last Friday to help with Kansas Kids Fitness and Safety Day (KKFD), a statewide event held every year on the first Friday in May. The event, which was held on Kivisto Field at Memorial Stadium, focuses on increasing physical activity and safety awareness among third-grade students in Kansas. KU’s Watkins Health Center and the Douglas County Safe Kids Coalition sponsored the event.

Nearly 18,000 students have participated in past years at more than 40 sites across the state, including more than 200 third graders who attended at KU this year. Participants tested their safety skills in interactive relays that included Stop, Drop & Roll, Red Light – Green Light, and Throw and Go (drowning safety). Lawrence paramedics were also on hand to talk with the children about health and safety.

“We had a lot of fun playing with the kids,” said Tyshawn Taylor, freshman, men’s basketball. “By learning that exercise can be fun at an early age, they have a good opportunity to develop the habits now that will lead to good health in the future.”

The statewide program, sponsored by the Governor’s Council on Fitness, reinforces to children the fun and health benefits of noncompetitive physical activities and injury prevention. Along with the Jayhawk student-athletes who participated, a number of Jayhawk student athletics trainers volunteered their time as well.

“Through this program, the kids learned the importance of a healthy, balanced lifestyle,” said Julie Hanley, senior, soccer. “We were all excited to be a part of it. I think we had just as much fun as the kids did.”