Olympic Gold Medalist Encouraging OKC Kids To Be Healthy

Friday, February 13th 2015, 7:24 pm
By: News 9

Olympic Gold Medalists Bart Conner and Nadia Comaneci are using their star statuses to help Oklahoma City kids.

They put on a free sports field trip for Oklahoma City Public Schools children to encourage healthier lifestyles.

Conner said he specifically picked 4th graders for the Fun and Fitness Day because of something life-changing that happened to him at that age.

Hundreds of 9 and 10-year-olds learned how to wake up their bodies and get moving.

Conner and Comaneci wanted to use their gymnastics credibility to take on the larger issue of health and wellness for kids.

The featured events were kayaking, archery, basketball, rowing, bicycling, slack lining, tennis, softball, gymnastics, weightlifting, soccer, baseball, cricket and a mega obstacle course.

“I thought why don't we reach out to kids, school-aged kids and get them excited about moving and being active,” said Conner.

Oklahoma is often in the headlines for being one of the least fit states.

This event introduced kids to a variety of sports they may never have tried before.

“When I start softball, I'll know, like, the basic steps,” said OKCPS student Zahrah Asghar.

“They told us to hop and we had relay races against the girls,” said 4th grader Chazz Cole.

“I like that we like to learn a lot about different sports,” said Yoselyn Bocanegra.

Conner and Comaneci used 4th graders as a focal point because that is when Conner was introduced to gymnastics.

“That sort of set the stage for my entire life, not only to reach a high level in gymnastics, but it taught me that in order to play gymnastics well, I'm going to have to eat well I'm going to have to disciplined and take care of myself and make good decisions,” Conner told News 9.

Conner and Comaneci want kids to take ownership of their health by having fun through sports.

“It's like fun and exercising at the same time so it's like you're doing a game, but you're also getting healthy,” said 4th grader Anthony Ivy.

The kids also heard inspirational speeches, ate a healthy meal and took home goodie bags full of things to encourage a healthier lifestyle.

The Fun and Fitness Day is part of the larger event, the 5th Annual Bart &Nadia Sports Experience.

It continues Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Cox Convention Center in downtown Oklahoma City.

It features a wide array of sports competitions, interactive sports and fitness activities and demonstrations, exciting children's activities and sports clinics, and information booths on nutrition, health care, exercise, sports and more.

The Sports Experience is free and open to the public.

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