The Boys & Girls Clubs of America and Nestlé are challenging clubs around the country to inspire local kids to achieve tangible short-term fitness goals. As the nation’s top advocate for youth, BGCA has set bold goals to enable more kids to achieve a great future, including logging 4 billion hours of physical activity from club kids and teens by 2018.
The Boys & Girls Clubs of Palm Beach County decided to take up the challenge, and on Aug. 4 held its first summer national fitness competition at Pioneer Park Elementary School in Belle Glade.
More than 350 club members from Boca Raton, Wellington, West Palm Beach, Delray Beach, Riviera Beach and Belle Glade attended. The event was organized by the teen members and included an array of activities and presentations throughout the day.
The Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office K-9 unit was on site with demonstrations of police canine training, and Marcia Bahia with the PBSO provided information on gang prevention. The Belle Glade Fire Department was also present and conducted a Q&A session that included topics on fire, fire alarms, why police and fire fighters are present at an accident scene and more.
James Green, director of outreach and community programming for the Palm Beach County Youth Services Department, greeted the teens, many who were part of the summer internships funded through the Youth Services Department, and led them in a fun round of Simon Says, which flowed into chants of affirmations about self-worth and self-accomplishment. Green discussed the value of giving back to the community through the mentoring of younger members.
The day was filled with competitions that included a shuttle run; 50-yard dash; push-up, sit-up contest and hula hoop contest; sponge relays; bean bag relays; and more. A DJ played popular music, and dance groups from the various clubs entertained the crowd with performances that included an African dance and drumming. The organizing teens also served lunch and drinks to everyone in attendance.
The 13 Boys & Girls Clubs in Palm Beach County serve more than 8,000 children ages 6 to 18.
Founded in 1971, the Boys & Girls Clubs of Palm Beach County is a not-for profit youth development organization that promotes the educational, vocational, health leadership and character of boys and girls in a safe, nurturing environment as an alternative to being home alone. The clubs offer a variety of award-winning developmental programs to help youth build skills and self-esteem during critical periods of growth.
For more information, visit www.bgcpbc.org or call (561) 683-3287.
ABOVE: James Green of the Palm Beach County Youth Services Department with Youth of the Year Alexia Lyles-Murray, Kienaya Workman, Alfonso Atkinson and Gregory Gabriel.