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Stop childhood obesity!

CATCH in Motion is a partnership between local health professionals and area schools to combat childhood obesity.

In 2010, more than one-third of children and adolescents ages 6 through 19 were overweight or obese. Additionally, a 2011 survey conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention showed 16 percent of high school students in Texas were obese, up from 14 percent in 2003.
 
Local health professionals are partnering with area schools to combat the childhood obesity epidemic with programs such as CATCH in Motion. This program was developed by Shannon Health & Wellness to address the coordinated school health requirements by helping schools provide nutrition and physical education training.

CATCH in Motion Kids’ Marathon, now in its fourth year, provides kids an opportunity to learn healthy habits and get moving.

Run for your health

More than 600 kids from area schools participated in last year’s Kids’ Marathon. The event has grown every year, and September Summers, program coordinator, hopes the pattern will continue this year.

“Many studies have shown childhood obesity has numerous short- and long-term effects on health and well-being,” she says. “We want as many kids as possible to be involved, and we are continuing to challenge adults to be involved as well.”

Preparation for Kids’ Marathon starts early in spring semester and is open to kids from kindergarten through sixth grade.

Each participating student, as well as his or her family, is encouraged to walk or run a total distance of 26 miles before the Last Lap Celebration on April 17. Students are given a mileage tracker to help them track their progress throughout the semester.

“The mileage tracker allows the students to keep up with their progress by coloring in each quarter mile they complete,” Summers says. “They complete a big portion of the 26 miles in their physical education classes.”

And then—party!

The Last Lap Celebration is a celebration in every sense of the word. Students are cheered on by their parents and hometown heroes as they complete the final 0.2 miles of their marathon. The first 500 students to cross the finish line will receive a T-shirt and medal. Every participant will receive a water bottle provided by Suddenlink. Student athletes from Angelo State University and Central and Lake View high schools are present to take pictures with the kids and sign autographs. Fun activities are provided by community-based organizations that offer programs during the summer months to keep kids active and motivated while they’re out of school.

“Our partnership with the San Angelo Independent School District and sponsors make this a fun, successful event each year,” Summers says. “This year we’d like to thank Angelo Awards, Armstrong Backus & Co. LLP, Big Country T’s, Farmers Insurance, Jackson Walker LLP, San Angelo City Recreational Division, SAISD, Shannon and Suddenlink. We hope to see continued growth and the formation of healthy habits in our local kids so they can grow up to be healthy adults.”

The Last Lap Celebration will take place at San Angelo Stadium starting at 5:30 p.m. Participants are welcome to come and go through 7 p.m. Laps will be run every 15 minutes. For more information about Kids’ Marathon, visit www.catchinmotion.org or call 325-657-5065.


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