Successful local youth conferences seeking new committee members

By Lindsay Ducharme

Be Fit For Life is seeking community members who are passionate about inspiring local youth to get fit and get active to join their committee. For the past several years, Be Fit For Life has been hosting Mega Boyz and Girl Power conferences for local grade five students.

“The goal is to give the youth a variety of activities they can participate in – both active as well as educational, and try to educate them about being active and try to encourage them to be active as they start to grow older,” explained Be Fit For Life Coordinator Christina Baker.

“We do it with the boys and girls separate so that it creates a really fun, empowering, open environment for them to try new things and for them to open up about things too. We do physical activity sessions, but we also have some healthy living and mental health sessions as well.   We talk about some self-esteem issues, mental health, nutrition and things like that.  We like to make it as comfortable an environment as possible.”

Baker explains that the conferences have been so successful and grown exponentially over the past few years that they are now looking to expand their committee. “We are opening it up to the community to see if there is anyone else that we could pull in to make the events bigger and better.”

The responsibilities of the committee members include attending monthly meetings, recruitment of all the instructors to lead the sessions, assisting with sponsorship and securing food, prizes and money and the set up and take down of the event itself.

“It is a really fun committee, but also it’s a really fun event for the kids.  It’s a very rewarding event to be a part of.  A lot of hard work goes into it from the committee members and then we are all there the day of so we get to see the looks on the kids’ faces, it makes it a totally worth while experience.  The more people we have involved in the committee the more unique and exciting we can make the event,” Baker said.

Each year different sessional activities are offered.  Baker said the committee puts emphasis on activities which are available in town and are an activity kids wouldn’t necessarily be exposed to in gym class.  “Last year for the girls we had RCMP mini PARE test, Tae-Kwon-Do, zumba, aboriginal dance, modern dance, yoga, softball, ringette, cheerleading and then some of the healthy living ones. We don’t necessarily choose different ones for the boys and girls we kind of feel boys and girls can do all the same things, sometimes because they are on different days we do have a little bit of difference in activities.  So the boys got Firefighters doing a fire fitness test, break dancing, hip hop, lacrosse, floor hockey and football.”

The conferences have been a highly anticipated event since their induction, with yearly feedback from both the students and teachers alike coming in 100 percent positive. Because of the immense success of Mega Boyz and Girl Power, two years ago the conferences expanded again, this time creating an event catering to grade nine girls.

“We started a similar event for grade nine girls called Girl Powerment, which takes place in February and hopefully this year we will expand it to the grade nine boys and we are looking for committee members for those committees as well,” Baker said.

“Basically they are similar days but we try to expand a little bit more on the leadership and we reiterate a lot of the same things they learn in grade five but we try to put a little bit more in their hands.  By the time they are in grade nine they are making a lot more of their own healthy choices themselves and they are getting to that age that they are deciding whether they want to continue with physical education or not in school and how active they want to keep leading their life.”

For more information on the conferences and to express interest in joining a committee call or email Baker at 780-791-8916 or email Christina.baker@keyano.ca.