Healthy Kids Day® Presented by Gator Bowl Charities Kicks Off New Initiative Encouraging Kids to Stay Active

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – March 31, 2015 – The YMCA of Florida’s First Coast will celebrate Healthy Kids Day® presented by Gator Bowl Charities on Saturday, May 2 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at EverBank Field. The free community event, coinciding with the 7th Annual First Coast Kids Triathlon, will inspire kids to keep their minds and bodies active and gives them activities and resources to achieve their potential all year long.

“We all want our kids to be happy and healthy. This great event encourages our kids to be active, while instilling important lessons about the value of healthy lifestyles to reach their full potential,” said Mayor Alvin Brown. “I look forward to working with the YMCA, First Coast Kids Triathlon and Gator Bowl Charities on this unique youth initiative.” The Mayor’s Office also issued a proclamation declaring May 2, 2015 as YMCA Healthy Kids Day in Jacksonville.

Healthy Kids Day is part of the Y’s national initiative to address the issue of kids’ physical and cognitive inactivity during summer months, especially for children without access to out-of-school learning programs. The community event will encourage kids to keep moving and learning, so they continue healthy habits throughout the year. Millions of children and their families are expected to participate in Healthy Kids Day at more than 1,300 events across the country.

“The Y is committed to the overall development of our youth, and providing healthy, safe and fun activities is critical to that mission,” said Eric Mann, president and CEO of YMCA of Florida’s First Coast. “Thanks to our committed partners, including Gator Bowl Charities and First Coast Kids Triathlon, this year’s Healthy Kids Day will have more real impact than ever before on the First Coast, connecting children and families with support and resources to help them lead happier, healthier lives.”

Healthy Kids Day coincides with the 7th Annual First Coast Kids Triathlon, taking place on Saturday and Sunday morning. Finishing inside EverBank Field, it will be the first triathlon to finish inside an NFL stadium. With the expanded capacity available at EverBank Field, the goal is to attract more than 3,000 kids to race. This would make Jacksonville home to the largest kids triathlon in the world. Every finisher will be featured on the stadium’s video boards and join in the Healthy Kids Day festivities.

“May 2 will be a true celebration of the health of our youth on the First Coast,” said Tom Gildersleeve, founder of Kids Triathlon. “The Y has been our Partner in motivating kids to be healthy, active and responsible for the past 6 years, and this program is a natural extension of our efforts. This memorable experience offers the potential for inspiring lifelong habits of healthy living.”

All children who attend the Healthy Kids Day will leave with a Gator Bowl Charities Healthy Kids Passport, part of the Gator Bowl Charities’ Send a Child to the Game program. With the Healthy Kids Passport, all children in the community have the opportunity to earn a ticket to the 2016 TaxSlayer Bowl.

“A ticket to the TaxSlayer Bowl is just a small portion of the reward kids are getting by participating in the passport,” said Rick Catlett, president and CEO of Gator Bowl Charities. “Our focus has always been on advancing the youth in Northeast Florida and we are hopeful that after this challenge, kids will have adopted healthy habits they will carry with them for years.”

Healthy Kids Day is a free event that will feature face-painting, inflatables, swim testing sign-ups, youth sports skills/drills clinics and other family activities including:

  • The Y’s #My30 World Record Attempt for World’s Largest Family Boot Camp
  • Science experiment stations and shows presented by Mad Science
  • Petting zoo and mobile farm market provided by Black Hog Farm
  • Bike and Water Safety Stations provided by the Safe Kids Coalition

For more information and to register for the First Coast Kids Triathlon, visit FirstCoastKidsTriathlon.org.

For more information, contact
HEATHER HOUSTON, Dalton Agency
P 904.398.5222 C 386.216.9472
E hhouston@daltonagency.com

The Y

For more than 100 years, YMCA of Florida’s First Coast has been providing men, women and children of all ages, and from all walks of life, opportunities to build stronger bonds, live healthy and become more engaged with their communities. Learn more: www.FirstCoastYMCA.org.

Gator Bowl Charities
Gator Bowl Charities is part of a 70-year tradition in Jacksonville and serves as the charitable arm of the JAXSPORTS Council and the TaxSlayer Bowl . Its focus is on promoting youth development and advancement throughout Northeast Florida by focusing on programs that support health and wellness, education, sports participation, leadership and mentoring. Learn more at www.gatorbowlsports.com.

First Coast Kids Triathlon
Over the past six years, more than 8,000 kids have participated in the First Coast Kids Triathlon. This tradition will continue when more than 2,500 kids become triathletes and motivate thousands of families to lead healthier lives. Learn more at www.firstcoastkidstriathlon.org.

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Mission Statement: To put Christian principles into practice through programs that build healthy spirit, mind and body for all.