Making Movement a Priority from the Start: Fitneff Facilitates Donation from KidsFit
Here at Fitneff, we’re proud to have developed meaningful relationships with a wide variety of suppliers that are also trying to integrate more movement into the daily lives of North Americans. KidsFit is one such supplier! They design and create kinesthetic classroom furniture to help get kids moving at a younger age, and we’ve had the pleasure of working with them for quite some time now.
Late last year, we had the opportunity to help facilitate a donation of one of KidsFit’s pieces, the Fully Recumbent Junior Bike, to the Steadward Centre in Edmonton. We recently caught up with Scott Forrester, a manager at the Steadward Centre, to tell us a little bit more about the programs that they offer and how this bike will make a difference moving forward.
The Steadward Centre
Q: Tell us a little bit about the Steadward Centre.
Scott: The Steadward Centre has expertise in Adapted Physical Activity and Parasport development, annually serving more than 1000 children and adults experiencing disability and training more than 250 students. As part of the Faculty of Kinesiology, Sport, and Recreation at the University of Alberta, the centre’s strong research and education focus allows it to deliver innovative programs and to share knowledge and best practices with community fitness and sport leaders across Alberta.
Q: What is your title there and what does your position involve?
Scott: My title is Fitness and Recreation Manager (Interim). My position involves overseeing the Adult Fitness and Recreation (AFR) and Free2BMe (kids) program here at the centre. I ensure that each program has all of its needs looked after to ensure smooth operation of each program area.
The Value of Movement
Q: What do you think are the health benefits to integrating movement into daily life?
Scott: The health benefits of movement are literally in the dozens. When talking about kids, I think the major health benefit is optimal brain development, which can lead to better stress management, problem-solving skills and improved focus. Research shows that movement helps to develop our brain when we are kids and it is important to take advantage of this window of opportunity. Other benefits of movement include better sleep quality and maintaining a healthy body composition, which is important to address the current trend of rising childhood obesity rates. Finally, moving more helps kids to feel better about themselves as they able to participate more in family and community activities. The more movement we can incorporate into a child’s day, the better!
Q: How can movement help kids who struggle with physical, sensory or developmental impairments?
Scott: It can help to develop physical literacy. When I say physical literacy, I’m not only talking about developing motor skills, but creating confidence and intrinsic motivation for these kids to keep exercising throughout their lives.
The KidsFit Fully Recumbent Junior Bike
Q: How will you use the Fully Recumbent Junior Bike from KidsFit?
Scott: Our Free2BMe staff will use the bike to achieve several outcomes with our participants. The two main outcomes that come to mind will be teaching a child the pedaling skill involved with riding an outdoor bicycle and improving cardiovascular fitness.
Q: How do you think the Fully Recumbent Junior Bike will make a difference in your Free2BMe program?
Scott: I see the bike as a valuable tool to help our child participants reach their goals in our programs. Programs such as Cycle Challenge (where participants learn to ride a bike) will see a very direct benefit from this wonderful piece of equipment and our other programs will enjoy the versatility it opens up for us from a programming perspective.
A big shout out to Scott for taking the time to answer these questions for us! We love hearing about the difference that pieces like this can make in young children’s lives, and we’re excited to see where the Free2BMe program will lead in the future!
If you’re interested in shopping our other KidsFit products online, click here.