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UMPI students host 17th Fit and Fun Day

Tuesday, 19 February 2013

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Getting exercise while having fun? That's the goal of the 17th semi-annual Fit and Fun Day, which will be held from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday, March 9 in the University of Maine at Presque Isle's Gentile Hall. Fit and Fun Day is designed to promote physical activity and healthy lifestyles for local children. Registration will begin at 9:15 a.m.; admission is free.

The day, sponsored by UMPI's Physical Education Majors Club twice each year, provides parents and their kids with a fun and active way to spend a Saturday morning. Physical Education students will facilitate the activities and provide instruction throughout the day. The University's Athletic Training staff and students will be on site as first aid responders.

Fit and Fun Day is open to local children in grades Kindergarten through 6 and will teach them about a healthy lifestyle through physical activity. According to student organizers, the children will work their minds and bodies in a fun learning environment. Activities will include individual and team building activities. The multipurpose court in Gentile Hall will be used for the various activities, such as parachute, soccer, cup stacking, and more. Children will spend approximately 20 to 30 minutes at each station.

Dr. Christine Standefer, Professor of Physical Education at the University, said the event is great for both elementary and college students.

"The children learn that physical activity isn't just about exercise; it can be lots of fun, too," Standefer said. "It's about playing and just being a kid. This is also a great opportunity for UMPI students to work with school-age children. The more our students get to work directly with children, the better their teaching skills become."

Once again this year, the climbing wall and swimming pool will be open from 12-1 p.m. to all of the Fit and Fun Day participants. Parents need to sign a release form in order for their children to use the swimming pool and rock wall. Forms will be provided during registration.

The walking track will be open for parents who would like to be active while keeping an eye on their children. Chairs also will be set up around the gym for parents to watch their children participate. Coffee and tea for parents will be provided by Aramark Food Services. Water will be provided to the participants, but they should bring their own appropriate swim attire and snacks for this event, if desired.

This free event is packed full of physical fun for children in the community. For more information, call Dr. Standefer at 768-9457.