Y gets kids moving

Published 10:11 pm Tuesday, April 21, 2015

On Saturday, the Suffolk Family YMCA will be on a mission to introduce as many children as possible to the joys of physical activity.

The “Y” on Godwin Boulevard will host the annual Healthy Kids Day between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m.

Designed to inspire kids to keep their minds and bodies active, the free event is a national initiative celebrated at nearly 1,3000 YMCAs across America.


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“The YMCA of South Hampton Roads does it at all of its 17 branches,” said Robbie Laughton, senior membership director at the Suffolk Family Y. “The purpose is to basically inspire parents and kids to stay physically and intellectually active all summer long.”

Staff and volunteers are planning a host of fun games and activities, like inflatables, jump rope, hopscotch, indoor pool games, Frisbee and soccer.

“We’ll have some snack items, some prizes, and we encourage everyone to come — you don’t have to be a member,” Laughton said.

The Y is heavily involved in promoting fitness for young people, he said. “We expose kids in the community to a variety of different physical and enrichment activities,” he said.

Laughton cited before- and after-school care programs and “many structured activities that we offer here, through swimming lessons, through summer camp opportunities, through organized group exercise classes.”

“These include all ages,” he added.

A big part of staging Healthy Kids Day, Laughton said, is to “show families how important it is to do things together.”

“It’s certainly an opportunity for people to learn more about the Y and its benefits for members,” he added. “Anyone who is not a member is encouraged to come and find out what they could do if they become a member.”