By Nolan Kowal, Sport Performance Specialist
By Cassidy Nicholls/Program Coordinator
It’s an exciting time to be a part of our Fit Kids Healthy Kids program! Since we joined forces with Doctors Manitoba and launched the program in 2013, we’ve grown in size every year and now have 11 people on our team. This means we’re able to get into more daycares and recreation centres around the province and spread our message of physical activity to kids.
At Fit Kids we’re all about developing physical literacy in the kids we work with, teaching them fundamental movement skills like throwing, catching, kicking, running, skipping, and jumping.
One of the biggest misconceptions is that the kids need to be athletic or interested in sports to get value out of our programs, but that’s not true at all! We really focus on creating a non-competitive environment and we really just want the kids to have fun. We don’t worry about form or proper technique or anything like that.
With kids having access to more and more digital devices at a younger age, it makes the work we do even more challenging. It’s easy for parents and adults to just get kids sitting down somewhere watching a movie or playing a video game.
We do a lot of work with adult leaders, and our main message to them is to try to be as proactive as possible. We need parents and adults to be good role models and encourage kids to be active. If we as adults are always on our phones, how do the kids know any better?
We also encourage parents to be active with their kids at home, as they’ll then be more comfortable when we show up to play with them!
We work with groups as small as 15 kids or sometimes even as large as 100 kids. Whatever space you have available—whether it’s just a standard community centre gym or an outdoor field—we can make it work!
And our schedule is jam-packed this summer with outdoor events. We’ll be at Assiniboine Park on Canada Day, along with the Winnipeg Folk Festival and Winnipeg Fringe Festival. Watch for us and come say hi!
Ultimately our goal is that the kids take the skills that we teach and apply them to other aspects of life later on, not just sports. It could be walking your dog, gardening, shovelling snow, or any other common activity.
My favourite part of my job is working with all of the kids. Many of them are so timid and shy at the beginning and it’s so rewarding to see them warm up and really enjoy the physical activity by the end of our program.
Personally I had so many great experiences being active when I was younger which translated into being an athlete, so I love seeing these kids getting those same opportunities.
There’s nothing better than when our team shows up and the kids are smiling and excited to see us. That’s when we know we are making a difference.
If you have any suggestions or questions about our program, you can get in touch with me at email@example.com