The Cominco gymnasium was exploding with energy Sunday during an annual event that promotes health and wellness.
For it’s second year in a row, Teck’s Inspiring Wellness and Learning Committee organized the Hearts at School: Fun Zone event, which featured a bevy of activities in the gym followed by free Smoke Eaters’ game tickets to Greater Trail elementary kids.
“The energy is high,” said Megan Olson, committee program organizer, who was helping facilitate the activities. “The whole idea is to get kids to understand that physical activity is important and that it’s fun.”
Kids were busy navigating through a blow up obstacle course, trying to catch red and green bills in the “money booth,” and painting their very own megaphone to use at the game after the fun zone wrapped up at 3 p.m.
The game saluted the special event with an elementary school relay, where five local elementary schools – MacLean, Webster, St. Michael’s, Glenmerry and Fruitvale – faced off in an on ice challenge. Lucky participants representing their schools in the eight-person teams were selected by their bid to fitness during the month of December.
Students were asked to devote 60 minutes for 30 days and record their exercises over the course of the month. One MacLean student vowed to be active for that amount of time for the rest of her life.
Between the second and third period, fans took part in a frisbee toss thrown from the stands. For a minimum $2 donation to the local Kids Sport chapter, participants tried to toss their frisbee to centre ice and 10 people were awarded for their close efforts.
“The reasoning behind the event is that we want to get health and wellness into the school,” said Gord Menelaws, health and safety chair for Local 480 and chair of the committee that’s been in tact for the past five years.
“We’ve noticed a real change in the community where kids are getting more and more involved,” he added. “We’ve done all sorts of great things and we’re not resting on that, we’re forging ahead.”
The committee has undertaken a weight watchers challenge, where Teck employees participating collectively lost over 2,500 pounds along with keeping a strong family focus through family hikes and swim days.
Olson said it’s crucial for parents to encourage their children to get active daily.
“Statistically kids spend an average of eight hours a day in front of a screen and they say that they’re starting to get adult diseases like heart disease and diabetes,” she said. “They’re starting to test for diabetes as young as 12 years old.”