Monday, March 4, 2013

Sand Springs club members are hard to CATCH!

“Catch me if you can” could the rally cry in the Sand Springs gym twice a week as members of the Boys & Girls Club participate in “CATCH,” a  unique health and fitness program created by the Tulsa City-County Health Department (TCCHD).  The long version of program name is “Coordinated Approach to Child Health.” The great thing about the program is compared to other physical education programs, the kids hardly know that they’re exercising. It reminds me of putting spinach in brownies:  the kids don’t notice and it’s really good for them!

The purpose of CATCH is to improve healthy lifestyles, reduce obesity, improve school performance and help kids build better decision making skills. CATCH was written and tested by the OU Schusterman Center of Applied Research. They tested things like children’s blood pressure and body mass index before and after CATCH in a sample study before implementing the program.

Club Director Bethany Pousinho (far left in above photo) agrees with the spinach in brownies analogy. “It’s a very good program that allows children to exercise without thinking they’re exercising, as we adults still wish we did,” she said. And in addition to the effective curriculum, it’s free! That’s right, TCCHD provides an instructor, training and even the equipment free of cost. The Sand Springs Boys & Girls Club is in the first phase of the program, when a trainer from TCCHD (Lyle Price, far right) teaches at the club for six months while designated employees (Quinton Kerns, middle) observe. When that’s over, the designated employees teach the club members for six months while the TCCHD trainer observes. CATCH also includes a nutritional component, but you’ll have to stay tuned for that! -Sallie

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