The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

February 19, 2011

Changing the future of the area’s children

Be Fit Kids’ goal is one of health

By Phyllis Zorn, Staff Writer
Enid News and Eagle

ENID — Be Fit Kids may be young itself, but, like the kids who take part in the event, it’s growing.

Christy Northcutt, coordinator of Be Fit Kids, started the youth fitness initiative last year with more than one objective. She wanted kids to have an opportunity to get moving, to feel good about themselves and to enjoy a family activity.

“Our primary goal is fun,” Northcutt said.

But more than that, she wants to reduce the likelihood of the youngsters developing diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and sleep apnea, the health risks associated with being overweight.

Part of her inspiration is found in the words of physician Dr. Eric Small, chairman of Council on Sports Medicine and Fitness for American Academy of Pediatrics.

“Physical activity with solid support promotes emotional, social, physical and intellectual development which becomes the foundation for what will follow in each child’s life,” Small wrote in 2002.

Be Fit Kids is targeted for children 12 and younger.

Those in second grade and younger, can participate in Buzz Run, a 50-yard walk or run down the Enid High School track.

“If they can waddle down the track for 50 yards, they can participate,” Northcutt said.

Kids in grades 3-5 can be in Buzz Run’s 100-yard dash.

“At the Buzz Run, we do not time the races,” Northcutt said. “Our goal is for each child to complete the race and feel good about themselves.”

Each child to cross the finish line gets a medallion.

Last year the EHS cheerleaders were at the finish line cheering the kids forward and placing medallions around their necks as they crossed the finish line, Northcutt said.

During Buzz Run, a health and fitness festival takes place inside the track’s inner circle. Last year saw 22 vendors passing out health and fitness information, promoting summer sports events. One vendor offering riding lessons brought a horse, and a dentist passed out toothbrushes, Northcutt said.

She hopes the festival is even bigger for the 2011 Buzz Run, set May 7.

Registration will be available at www.GetMeRegister after March 1. Admission is $10 per runner, and the price includes a T-shirt, runners bib, the Be Fit Kids medallion and the health and fitness festival. Parents, siblings and grandparents enter the track area for free.

The same day Buzz Run takes place, training for the Be Fit Kids marathon begins.

“Its objective is to increase the activity levels of participants while increasing the likelihood that they’ll live longer and healthier lives,” Northcutt said.

Marathon kids must register and then log 25 miles running — with parents or grandparents supervision — throughout four months.  They will run their final 1.2 miles at Continental Resources’ Great Land Run held during the Land Run of 1893 celebration in September.

Those who the marathon receive a T-shirt that reads “I completed a marathon” on the front and the Be Fit Kids logo on the back.

“Our goal is to increase the activity level of our kids,” Northcutt said. “It’s been said that this generation could be the first to have a lower life span.”

She doesn’t want to see that forecast come true.

Northcutt said Be Fit Kids is a program of Community Development Support Association.