Posted by Eric Horvath on August 14, 2015 at 8:50 AM
15 Rec Centers Come Together for Massive Field Day
(Philadelphia) – For the second year in a row, the Philly Play team hosted the Philly Play Summer Challenge, the capstone event of the summer program that promotes active play to Philadelphia kids ages 8-12. The Summer Challenge was held on Wednesday, August 12 at Abraham Lincoln High School (3201 Ryan Ave.), and managed by Health Promotion Council, a partner since the program’s inception in 2013.
Approximately 1,000 campers from recreation centers around Philadelphia traveled to Lincoln High School to participate in the field day, which featured rotating play stations with soccer, football, basketball, obstacle courses and more, after a healthy breakfast from the Dining Car. Campers were also welcomed and sent off by the “Special EFX” dance team.
Before leading a roll call of recreation centers in attendance, Councilman Bobby Henon (6th District), Philly Play creator, reminded campers to keep active and remember what they learned over the seven-week camps. “Play is fun but it's necessary - the more you can play, the happier and healthier you will grow up to be,” he said.
In addition to Councilman Henon, others who made closing remarks included: Vanessa Briggs, Executive Director, Health Promotion Council; Susan Slawson, First Deputy Commissioner for Programs, Department of Parks and Recreation and Jack Nelson, Principal, Lincoln High School, who promised to welcome the Summer Challenge back to Lincoln “every year.”
Added Vanessa Briggs of Health Promotion Council: “Philly Play's annual summer event continues to demonstrate the commitment among our dedicated partners, the Public Health Management Corporation’s Health Promotion Council, Philadelphia City Councilman Bobby Henon, Philadelphia Parks and Recreation, Abraham Lincoln High School, and a host of others to support making communities healthy through a day of physical activity and healthy eating.
Philly Play emphasizes the importance of 60 minutes of physical, aerobic activity for children each day. The organization contributes to Philadelphia’s position as a national leader in the reduction of childhood obesity. Recent statistics show a 4.7 percent decline in obesity among children grades K through 12. Philly Play is a phenomenal example of how the collective efforts of many can engage more than 1,000 children in one day of physical activity challenges.”
The Summer Challenge capped off the seven-week summer programming held at recreation centers around the city. The 2015 camps added specific Philly Play ‘Coaches’ - youth recreation-focused employees detailed to a recreation center for both programmatic support and to build relationships with campers over the summer. Philly Play also added an additional 5 recreation centers to its roster. A full list is available at www.phillyplay.org/findasite.
Philly Play brings additional programming aimed at ensuring kids get 60-minutes of active play to increase their heart rate and encourage healthy behaviors. Plans are underway to continue Philly Play’s expansion into more neighborhoods and to reach more kids in 2016. To learn more about Philly Play, visit www.phillyplay.org. Photos of the event are available here. Photos by Harry Leech (McGlasson Media).