HUNTINGTON - Although their minds get a break this week, the Boys and Girls Club of Huntington is making sure its kids keep their bodies active over spring break.

The club had its spring National Fitness Competition on Wednesday with the help of Marshall University's School of Physical Therapy. Age groups competed against each other in events such as sprinting, push-ups and sit-ups.

"Ultimately, it's about getting them active," said Jessica Lucas, program coordinator at the Huntington Boys and Girls Club. "Competition is not the ultimate focus. It's about getting them together, having fun so fun and friendship gets connected to fitness."

The National Fitness Competition started in 2013 as a partnership with the Boys and Girls Clubs of America and Nestle with the goal of logging 4 billion hours of physical activity from club kids and teens by 2018.

Nevaeh Goode, a fifth-grader at Springhill Elementary School, said it was an honor to participate. She said her favorite exercise is push-ups because it uses all of her muscles even though she was just moving her arms.

She said after she exercises, she feels proud of herself.

Lucas said they scheduled the spring fitness challenge over spring break this year as an attempt to boost their spring break attendance, and she was very pleased with the turnout.

"To see the smiles is a reward you can't replace," Lucas said.

Davion Wilson, a fourth-grader at Springhill Elementary, said he likes to exercise and spend time with people he knows.

"You need to make sure your body is taken care of," Wilson said.

The activities finished out with a yoga session led by Lucas. She said it is just as important the students keep their minds fit as well as their bodies.

"It's a great coping mechanism for everybody, not just our community," Lucas said.

Lucas said the day also highlights what can happen when the community works together.

Follow reporter Taylor Stuck on Twitter and Facebook @TaylorStuckHD.


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