Chester students have fun while getting fit - NBC12 - WWBT - Richmond, VA News On Your Side

Chester students have fun while getting fit

CHESTER, VA (WWBT) -

Obesity numbers have more than doubled in children over the last 30 years, according to the CDC. That's why one local organization is working to change those numbers for the better.

John Witherspoon has a big job. Every day, he yells, claps, or anything else to keep more than 900 students moving at Elizabeth Scott Elementary School in Chester.

He is a recess coach, and just as his title suggests, he teaches children how to play.

"Everybody loves to play recess, but a lot of times, kids sit on the sidelines because they don't really feel they can come in and play the whole time, so we have games. Traditional games, but they're kind of modified a little bit, so they bring everybody in, and everybody can play together," said Witherspoon.

Recess coaching is one of several new programs introduced by Greater Richmond Fit4Kids, a non-profit organization focused on children's health and the reduction of childhood obesity.

The organization recently partnered with Advanced Orthopaedics and Ortho-On Call to collect gently used sports equipment from the community, which will help get even more children on the move, whether they're at school or at home.

"We are going to actually raffle off some of the equipment to the kids at the partner schools at some of the family fitness nights, book fair nights, and send some of the equipment home with the children," said the Greater Richmond Fit4Kids executive director Mary Dunne Stewart.
      
Until then, Witherspoon's  first grade students are only focused on winning their game of circle dodge ball. However, in his eyes, as long as they keep moving, they are already winners.

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