Largo program aims to keep kids fit this summer
Some kids might have been spending the morning eating Pop Tarts and playing their PlayStation 3, but not Noah Aktas. By 8:30 a.m. Friday morning, Noah, along with 12 other summer campers, was running drills on the athletic field at Southwest Recreation Complex in Largo.
He walked sideways through the speed ladder.
He hopped over hurdles.
He did everything but hold still.
Keeping kids active was one of the goals of Largo’s just-ended Fit Kids Camp, a two-week offshoot of an after-school Fit Kids program started about 15 months ago that our colleague Piper Castillo reports on here. And the program is about to be expanded.
Under the direction of Brandon McIntosh, a Largo recreation program leader, Fit Kids is designed to increase the overall health and fitness level of children in a fun, positive and motivating environment. The summer campers, ages 6 through 15, came in all shapes and sizes. They received lessons in nutrition as well as daily workouts including agility drills, cross training, full-body workouts using free weights and swimming.
McIntosh, who received a sports management degree from Methodist University in North Carolina, is now preparing to launch Fit Kids programs at Largo’s other recreation centers. He’s also spreading the word about kid fitness.
In August he will help Joan Byrne, director of the Recreation, Parks and Arts department, present “Fit Kids: Fighting Childhood Obesity with Fun,’’ at the Florida Recreation and Parks Association’s annual conference. And in a few months, he and Dr. Chrisoula Kiriazis, a Clearwater physician whose children have attended Southwest Recreation Complex programs, will release a book, Fit Kids for Life: A Parents Guide to Healthy Children.
While the Fit Kids Summer Camp is over, children can still participate in the regular Fit Kids sessions at 5:30 p.m. Mondays at Southwest Recreation Complex, 13120 Vonn Road, for a $5 drop-in fee. For more information, call (727) 518-3129.
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