Kansas Athletics Hosts 11th Annual Kansas Kids Fitness Day

May 6, 2011

More than 15 University of Kansas student-athletes volunteered their time on Friday to help with Kansas Kids Fitness and Safety Day, a statewide event held every year on the first Friday in May.

The event, which was held at Anschutz Pavilion, focuses on increasing physical activity and safety awareness among third-grade students in Kansas. LawrenceMemorialHospital and the Douglas County Safe Kid Coalition sponsored the event.

Nearly 18,000 students have participated in past years at more than 40 sites across the state, including more than 700 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.

“It’s always fun working with these little guys,” said sophomore football player Jordan Webb. “It’s fun because I remember when my school did a physical fitness week like this, but it was never quite this big. This is great.”

The statewide program, sponsored by the Governor’s Council on Fitness, reinforces the fun and health benefits of noncompetitive physical activities and injury prevention to children. Along with the Jayhawk student-athletes who participated, a number of Jayhawk student athletics trainers volunteered their time as well. The event’s director, Janelle Martin, said that the fitness day comes at a perfect time when students are beginning to get a little stir-crazy as summer approaches.

“This is an opportunity for the students to get out of class and away from school and just help them burn off some energy,” Martin explained. “We are also trying to expose them to different ideas in ways to be physically active.”

The event took place from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. while students rotated to different stations spread throughout the practice facility. The stations were run by various student volunteers. The kids were treated to refreshments following their activities and each class was sent home with a gift bag.

“KU has been a great partner every year in offering the facility and the help of student workers,” Martin went on to say. “I actually think they have more fun working with the kids then the kids have interacting with them.”