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Mini Olympians promote healthy lifestyles while enjoying Olympic Week

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Erick Requadt
  • 23rd Wing Public Affairs

Kids dodged paintballs, splashed in the pool and more as Moody’s Youth Center hosted their annual Olympic Week here from June 12 through15.

The week featured an ensemble of different events for the 89 kids to promote unity and healthy lifestyles in an engaging way and concluded on Olympic Day, which included events such as sack races, egg and spoon races, and hula-hooping.

“It helps them realize that participation in sports regarding the Olympic cycle [isn’t] just based off of gender, your fitness ability; it’s for you to get out and have a good time,” said Ashleigh Stafford, Youth Center teen program director. “I think kids tend to lose that, and that’s one of the things that we pride ourselves on doing during the summer time is getting them outside of that, bring back social interaction, promote the physical fitness, and actually have fun with friends, even if you don’t know them.”

Shanice Myrick, Youth Center child and youth program assistant, felt with the children being military dependents, having Olympic Week was a fun way to boost their sense of unity and self-confidence.

“They’re military dependents and that’s stressful,” Myrick said. “Definitely, the two main things will be teamwork and physical activity, because we’re always trying to focus on teambuilding. Whenever you feel like you’re a part of a bigger picture, it gives you more self-confidence and that definitely helps these children with all the different struggles they have going on, because they definitely have more than most.”

Myrick felt that regardless of what activity the children were playing, for all of them there was an overall excitement and enthusiasm seen.

Nevaeh, daughter of Master Sgt. Marvin Wallace, 23rd Maintenance Group first sergeant, said she gained an appreciation for what the staff had done in promoting the healthy lifestyles in fun new ways.

“It was a lot of fun ways to exercise,” Nevaeh said. “When we did the jump rope, I felt like that was a healthy, fun way. It also gives you ideas that you can do at home and that helps you out a lot.”