The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

April 2, 2011

YMCA’s in the I-Zone

Interactive stations keep youths tuned into fitness

By Cass Rains, Staff Writer
Enid News and Eagle

ENID — Thousands of children and teens have taken advantage of Denny Price Family YMCA’s I-Zone, an interactive fitness room for the young set.

Ken Rapp, YMCA executive director, said I-Zone was a focal point of the organization’s remodel because of its intent to provide fun fitness opportunities for kids.

“We’ve seen over the last year more than 1,200 kids have used that I-Zone,” he said. “We run a kid fit program out of that I-Zone, which is a fitness program for grade-school-aged children.”

I-Zone is used for physical education classes for home-schooled children and as a host site for after-prom parties, with six already scheduled this year. The area features video-interactive fitness stations to keep kids moving and interested.

“We’ve got exercise bikes that have video game screens. We have “Dance Dance Revolution,” Rapp said. “We have the Nintendo Wii station with “Wii Fit” and we have the sport wall. It keeps the kids really active in playing their games.”

The “I” in I-Zone stands for interactive, Rapp explained.

Keeping kids interested in exercise is easy when it involves video games and other kid-friendly devices, Rapp said.

“We’ve had parents say, ‘My kids just love that I-Zone,’’ he said, noting he’s also heard: “‘It’s one of the best thing the Y has done for kids.’”

I-Zone also hosts after-school programs.

More than 1,400 teens are members of Denny Price Family YMCA, and last year 734 youth and teens received scholarship memberships, thanks to Enid United Way and the YMCA Back a Youth campaign.

“It really gives me a great feeling because our community works together,” Rapp said. “We provide a safe place, and a great place, for youth to congregate, socialize, stay active and exercise.”