Boys & Girls Clubs “Wanna Play”

Exeter-based Boys & Girls Club of the Sequoias has been selected to participate in the Major League Baseball (MLB) “Wanna Play?” program in an effort to improve the overall fitness of youth. The “Wanna Play?”program will encourage Club members – ages 6 to 12 – to realize the importance of leading a healthy lifestyle through physical activity and improved nutrition education.

Obesity is a serious health concern affecting both children and adolescents at staggering rates in the United States. Today, one-third of American schoolchildren are overweight or obese. According to the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, prevalence of obesity increased from 6.5 percent to 17.0 percent among children ages 6–11. Facing these grim statistics, Boys & Girls Clubs of America and MLB have teamed up to improve the physical fitness of young people by focusing on agility, coordination and balance. The “Wanna Play?” program will allow youth to become more health-conscious and active while learning the fundamental skills of baseball and softball.

By implementing programs such as “Wanna Play?”, Club members receive helpful tips on how to lead a healthy lifestyle by increasing his or her awareness of good nutrition and physical fitness. According to a recent Harris Interactive Survey of Boys & Girls Club alumni, some 80 percent said that their Club experience made a positive impact on their attitude toward fitness and health, with 74 percent participating in organized sports. The “Wanna Play?” initiative will help the young people realize that their health is critical to reaching their full potential as productive, caring and responsible citizens. Through a nine-week program, members will participate in a variety of fun, engaging activities and games to learn about ways to improve their fitness, nutrition and hydration; as well as learn basic baseball and softball skills and knowledge.

“The kids of today need a helping hand in so many ways and being physically active helps mind, body and soul. The “Wanna Play” program gives them a fun way to be healthy and learn the benefits to being active.” said Boys & Girls Club of the Sequoias Director of Operations, Galen Quenzer. “We are helping kids every time they get involved and play in one of the activities in the gym or game room. It’s about improving their overall fitness and realizing their full potential.”

On Sept. 28, the Boys & Girls Club in Exeter will be having a “Wanna Play?” event. The kids will participate in an obstacle course and relay. Prizes will be earned in the form of healthy ingredients by answering nutritional questions. They will use those ingredients at the end of the event to make a salsa to go along with their healthy lunch.

“The Boys & Girls Club isn’t just about fun and games, it teaches you manners and how to respect others while having fun at the same time,” says Jaycie Wilkinson, Exeter Club member.

 

About Major League Baseball Charities

Major League Baseball Charities is a not-for-profit corporation that provides support to local, national and international tax-exempt organizations to directly conduct or sponsor activities for the promotion of good health, physical education, public safety, medical research, literacy and educational or charitable purposes. Major League Baseball is committed to leading the fight against cancer, and supports the research, awareness and prevention activities of Stand Up To Cancer, Susan G. Komen for the Cure, the Prostate Cancer Foundation, and Play Sun Smart, among others. In addition to supporting Boys & Girls Clubs of America (BGCA), MLB Charities provides support to a number of other national charitable initiatives, including Welcome Back Veterans, and the Jackie Robinson Foundation, the Wheelchair Sports Federation among others. The Office of the Commissioner of Baseball pays all administrative expenses for MLB Charities.

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