IN an attempt to tackle the obesity crisis, children across the ACT are participating in the Active Kids Challenge.
An initiative of The Physical Activity Foundation, the program provides schools with incentives to get children huffing and puffing during the colder months.
Aranda Primary School is one of 64 schools that have signed up to the challenge, which strives to get children to be physically active for at least 60 minutes a day.
“It’s about giving children the opportunity to make healthy lifestyle choices,” says Aranda Primary School deputy principal Ros Webb.
“We are focusing on modelling a healthy lifestyle and regular physical activity while encouraging the children to be active, keep fit and have a go.”
Organisers say the challenge is not only aimed at children who are good at sport.
“It is not only about sport and we are really targeting those that don’t take part in sport. We encourage non-sporty kids to be involved in activities that are fun and some activities may even assist with their motor-skill development,” says Physical Activity Foundation chairman Adam Pine.
“Any activity that makes them huff is encouraged. It can be games, sport, or active transport like walking or riding.”
The 2011 program will focus on fun activities and rewards directly to the children who are participating.
“The best thing this year is the competitions and incentive rewards for the kids who are doing the hard work,” says Physical Activity Foundation CEO Sue Marriage.
“We know that kids like to do fun activities and they love unique characters to help them get motivated.
“We have secured Animalates and the Take 5 plus 2 team characters including Posh Pear to spread the message of getting active and eating well throughout the challenge.”
So far, more than 17,000 students are registered for this year’s challenge, which starts on Monday. July 25 and runs until September 30.
It’s not too late for ACT primary schools to register via the Physical Activity Foundation website at www.activekids.org.au