Health and fitness, or rather the lack of health and fitness, are major concerns for today’s youth. A recent study found that approximately one third of children aged 6-19 were considered overweight or obese. This alarming statistic, as well as many others, has led youth organizations to put healthy lifestyles at the forefront of their educational curriculum.
One method schools have chosen to promote health and physical activity in their students is through the appeal of professional athletes. School aged children tend to idolize professional athletes and because of this, they would like nothing more than to model their behaviors on them. A talk from a child’s favourite icon can go a long way in that student’s mindset, allowing schools to then transition from the talk to something more meaningful like building healthy eating habits or encouraging children to be more active during recesses.
Many educational institutions choose to bring outside speakers into the school for their talks; however, that is not the only way professional athletes can reach out to their students. Nowadays we know that there are several learning styles (not just one), and when a school employs many tools and means in order to drive home a point, they will inevitably reach the broadest range of children. Oftentimes museums, sports venues, or other athletic training facilities will offer exciting field trip options that allow students to come to them and combine their educational talk with a real-world experience, like watching a sports team warm up, playing on their iconic field, or using an interactive sport simulator. Venues that provide children with real live, hands-on experiences to accompany the life lessons they have been presented with tend to hit home with the most children, as they can excite children on a variety of levels.
In Vancouver, one of the best attractions schools can visit to teach students about the wonders of sports is the ROX: The Olympic Experience at the Richmond Oval. This exciting attraction is perfect for a youth field trip focused on promoting athletes as part of a health initiative. As one of the few destinations officially endorsed by the International Olympic Committee, students can listen to an speech from an Olympic hero of theirs then they can visit the numerous interactive activities stationed there including media booths, hands-on sporting simulations, and clips from live events. Some of the most popular exhibits send visitors into a virtual reality booth where they can experience what it actually feels like to participate in a popular Olympic sport such as: bobsleigh, kayak, sit-ski, race car, and ski jump. The attraction also offers interactive exhibits where the kids can get moving and test their skills – a great way to get kids out of their seats and engaged in physical activity.
As far as places to visit in Vancouver go, interactive experiences such as this one offer the perfect blend of engaging hands-on activities and theoretical lessons. It is a great way for youth organizations to promote health and fitness in a way that captures the attention of their students and keeps them engaged and energized throughout the process. With the increasing awareness of declining youth health and fitness, organizations are continually updating their strategies and have incorporated experiences like this into their curriculum. Cities other than Vancouver British Columbia may offer similar sporting exhibits and would be an inspiring way to promote healthy habits. Check for opportunities near you and schedule your trip today!