500 Festival Introduces Free KidsFit Program
Program targets Hoosier 5th and 6th graders, focuses on fitness and healthy lifestyles
INDIANAPOLIS (January 14, 2014) – The 500 Festival introduced today a new youth fitness initiative for the 2014 season called the 500 Festival KidsFit Program. In an effort to fight childhood obesity, the goal of the program is to encourage Indiana youth to be more active and pursue a healthy lifestyle.
The program is modeled from the highly successful 500 Festival and Indianapolis 500® Education Program, presented by Indiana University Health. This free 13-week program will target 5th and 6th grade students across the state of Indiana. The 500 Festival will identify and align program activities with the Indiana Department of Education’s Indiana State Academic Standards for Health and Physical Education. Participants of the program will complete weekly lessons and activities. Participants will log and track their progress, running one mile each week leading up to the OneAmerica 500 Festival Mini-Marathon. The goal is for students to run 13.1 miles over the course of a 13-week period, the equivalent of a half marathon.
The program will culminate on May 3, 2014 when a select number of participants are invited downtown Indianapolis to finish their final 1.1 mile on the Mini-Marathon course. Students will finish at the same finish line as the 35,000 participants who run the Mini each year, complete with grandstands filled with cheering fans and families. Each finisher will receive a medal and have an authentic Mini-Marathon experience as they advance through Runner Services after the race and are welcomed into the Mini-Marathon Post Race Party in Military Park where they can celebrate their accomplishment with their families.
“As the largest half marathon in the country, the OneAmerica 500 Festival Mini-Marathon is effectively the state’s largest health and fitness initiative,” said Bob Bryant, President and CEO, 500 Festival. “Combining our assets and skills to conduct running events and produce themed educational curriculum in order to create an Indiana-wide youth fitness program is a natural extension for us and very fitting in our mission to produce life-enriching programs. We are excited to kick-off the 500 Festival KidsFit Program in 2014 and look forward to expanding its reach in the future.”
The 500 Festival Foundation is assisting in the launch of the program by extending a grant to fund the KidsFit curriculum development and initial efforts to recruit school participation.
For more information or to register students for the Program, please visit www.500festival.com/KidsFitProgram or call (317) 614-6129.
The 500 Festival, a not-for-profit volunteer organization, was created in 1957 to organize civic events celebrating the greatest race in the world. Over the past 57 years, the 500 Festival has grown to become one of the largest festivals in the nation. The mission of the 500 Festival is to produce life-enriching events and programs while celebrating the spirit and legacy of the Indianapolis 500® and fostering positive impact on the city of Indianapolis and state of Indiana.
The mission of the OneAmerica 500 Festival Mini-Marathon is to conduct a world-class running event and leverage its success for furthering the mission of the 500 Festival and promoting health and fitness.
The 500 Festival Foundation is a fully-charitable 501(c)3 organization dedicated to generating funds in support of educational and youth programming initiatives of the 500 Festival.