In its debut, Get Moving Arkansas! drew more than 320 fourth graders, their physical education teachers and parents to the University of Central Arkansas’ Bill Stephens Track and Field on April 25.
The event, which included 13 fitness stations, was sponsored by Conway Regional Health and Fitness Center and University of Central Arkansas.
Get Moving Arkansas! included schools from Batesville, Mountainburg, White Hall, Guy-Perkins, Fountain Lake Sacred Heart and Lamar as well as Marguerite Vann, Ellen Smith, Woodrow Cummins and Jim Stone Elementary Schools in Conway.
Stations included yoga, an obstacle course, gymnastics, core work, jump rope, track relays and sprints, tug of war, boot camp, hip hop dance, basketball and football drills and tire flipping.
The stations were led by the Conway Regional Health & Fitness Center staff, Coach Charles Hervey, UCA staff, Conway Running Club, Sonshine Academy and the Ellen Smith jump rope team.
David Strickland, head athletic director at UCA and a co-director of the event, said: "The University of Central Arkansas is proud to be a part of such a great event to improve and educate fitness in early childhood. Rance Bryant and his staff at Conway Regional Health and Fitness Center along with other fitness experts put on a fun morning full of exciting physical activities that continue to foster and promote fitness in a fun atmosphere."
The Top Team Effort Award for best team work encouragement, schools spirit and sportsmanship was given to the fourth graders from Lamar. The awards are fun but co-director Rance Bryant, who is the director of the Conway Regional Health & Fitness Center, says Get Moving Arkansas is about planting ideas for lifestyle changes.
"Get Moving Arkansas! is all about learning to make exercising fun. We wanted to introduce activities that are enjoyable and something the kids can do every day," said Bryant. "I think it’s great that Conway Regional Health System and UCA can collaborate something right here in central Arkansas for schools from all corners of the state."
Terri Smith, a physical education teacher at White Hall Moody Elementary, agreed.
"Get Moving Arkansas was an awesome once in a lifetime experience for my fourth graders at Moody Elementary," Smith said. "They are still talking about all the different activities and events they got to participate in and all the fun they had. The event was very organized and all of the instructors were top notch. We loved it."