By Michilea Patterson, The Mercury
Children can shine bright through physical fitness in the Fit Kids for Life contest.
Three winners will be picked every week and receive a free $25 gift card for Schuylkill Valley Sports and a T-shirt. Schuylkill Valley Sports is a sporting goods store located inside the Coventry Mall at 351 W. Schuylkill Road in North Coventry.
“We were just looking to do something community-oriented,” said Phil Baumgardner, Schuylkill Valley Sports marketing director.
Baumgardner said the idea for the contest came after attending a national sporting goods conference. At the conference, he said he learned about the increasing rate of youth obesity and that children aren’t as physically active anymore with the popularity of technology.
“The numbers were staggering,” Baumgardner said. “We asked ourselves what can we do to help.”
He said he hopes the contest will showcase fitness in the area and encourage people to be healthy.
Pictures of the winners will be published in The Mercury print edition and online at http://www.pottsmerc.com.
It’s easy for someone to enter for the chance to become the Fit Kid of the Week. Parents just have to send a recent photo of their child doing the activity of the week to the email firstname.lastname@example.org. Along with the photo, parents should include the child’s first name, age and town.
Every week there will be a different activity for the contest such as biking, swimming and jumping rope. Parents who snap a photo of their child doing the week’s specific activity can then enter the child into the contest. Every week’s activity will be announced Friday on the Mercury Fit for Life Facebook http://www.facebook.com/MercFit4Life and the Fit for Life Twitter page @MercFit4Life.
The contest is starting with the activity “Fitness in the Park.” Kids that are swinging, climbing the jungle gym or doing something physically active in the park will qualify. The first winners will be announced Aug. 1.
The contest includes three age categories. The categories are 2 to 6 years old, 7 to 12 years old and 13 to 18 years old.
Winners for each age division will be announced every Friday. Photo submissions are due by noon Wednesday each week. Parents that want to enter their child in the first week’s contest where winners are announced Aug. 1 must have a photo submitted by noon on July 30.
Don’t worry if you miss the deadline; your child can still be a winner. Submissions turned in after noon on Wednesday will be included in the following week’s contest.
Mercury readers will decide the winner for each category every week through a Facebook photo album.
Voters need to like the Mercury Fit for Life page http://www.facebook.com/MercFit4Life and then “like” their favorite kid activity photo for each age category in the Fit Kids for Life photo album.
Voting for each week starts 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday and ends 3 p.m. on Friday.
Also there’s no limit to how many weeks someone can enter the contest. As long as a child is caught on camera doing the activity of the week, they can enter to win.
Only one submitted photo is allowed per child each week. Any photos that are sent in without the necessary information won’t be included in the photo album for the contest.
The Fit Kids for Life Contest is sponsored by Schuylkill Valley Sports, The Mercury and the Pottstown Area Health and Wellness Foundation.
Baumgardner said he hopes to expand the youth fitness contest to other Schuylkill Valley Sports stores. For more information about Schuylkill Valley Sports visit http://www.svsports.com or call 610-327-2001.
The Mercury is engaged in a year-long effort, Fit for Life, designed to promote healthy living and inspired by recent health studies which indicate an alarming increase in obesity and overweight people. In addition to articles in the newspaper and on our website, Fit for Life features a blog with recipes, health tips, resources, tips on getting fit without breaking the bank, maps and other tools all available free online. Visit the website at http://www.pottsmerc.com/Fitforlife, like us on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/MercFit4Life and follow our efforts on Twitter @MercFit4Life.
You can follow Michilea Patterson on Twitter @MichileaP. Patterson is the Fit for Life reporter and is funded in part by the Pottstown Area Health and Wellness Foundation.