Nearly half of all New York City elementary school kids are obese. The lack of activity and poor eating habits begin early in life.
According to the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, one in five kindergarten children are obese. Due to cuts in school programs, especially physical activities, NYC kids are getting fatter and fatter. It is a fact that the only exercise many children get these days is moving a ‘mouse’ across a computer screen.
For the past eight years, fitness guru Vincent Ferguson, president of Body Sculpt New York, has hosted a free Children’s Sports & Fitness Expo at Brooklyn’s Boys and Girls High School.
The popular event introduces kids to a wide range of sports including archery, fencing, hula hoop, golf, dance and soccer. This year, the NETS Dancers got kids off their feet to the beat of hip-hop music, all in an effort to let kids know that exercise can be fun, as well as healthy for you. One way to do this is to offer kids something they love to do. Hip Hop music!
With the highly anticipated arrival of the NETS basketball team to Brooklyn in 2012, Ferguson reached out to have the NETS Dancers to host their NETS Hip-Hop Dance clinic for three reasons: 1) kids have expressed the love of the hip-hop dance moves and stunts they see at the basketball games 2) hip-hop dance is a great cardio workout and 3) community support for the NETS.
“When I decided to expand the Children’s Sports & Fitness Expo into the borough of Brooklyn in 2008, I immediately turned to Forest City Ratner Companies and the Barclay/Nets Community Alliance for support,” said Ferguson. “The success of the Expo in the borough of Brooklyn could not have been realized without their support and others over the years.”
Nets Dancer Melody who has performed for Rihanna, JayZ, Kanye West, Lil Mama, & Shakira led the Hip-Hop clinic. The group joined other supporters including DJ Diamond Kuts, Miss New York Latina, Thatiana Diaz, Track and Field Gold Medalist 2008, Nastasha Hastings and Celebrity Chef Kimberly Van Kline.
Dedicated to keeping kids fit through exercise and living a healthy lifestyle, Vincent Ferguson, a former navy man is now a certified personal trainer and author of ‘Get Ready! Get Set! Get Fit’, a guide to help parents and caretakers design exercise programs that will help their children lose weight, eat right and get in shape.
Body Sculpt was founded in 1989, whose purpose is to educate parents and children about childhood obesity and offer healthy alternatives, particularly in the areas of physical fitness and nutrition. Some 15,000 kids from across New York’s five boroughs have participated in this event.
Joining Ferguson in keeping kids fit, were sponsors/partners United Federations of Teachers, Emblem Health, Alkalin e Ionized Water, MetroPCS, VIM, SNY, Radio Disney, YMCA and Greater Brooklyn Health Coalition.