I found the Don’t Sit Get Fit program on Graham Recreation and Parks website and thought it sounded like a great idea. This interview was with Aaron Davis, he created this program, but is now the director with Mebane Parks and Recreation. Don’t Sit Get Fit is a walking program that takes place during children’s sports practices. Please read on to find out all of the details about this unique program.
What inspired you to create the Don’t Sit Get Fit Program?
Graham Parks and Recreation was going through some changes at this time, they had just created flag football and lacrosse programs. I was looking to get out of athletics and be more involved with programming. Specifically with health and wellness programs. I came up with the idea, with the goal being to get parent’s active during their child’s practices. We worked on this as a department and another colleague came up with the name. We wanted to create some more activity based programs.
2. What is the target market?
Parents of children in soccer or basketball. During basketball parents are able to walk inside the rec center.
3. Can you give us a brief overview of how the program is run?
To sign up for the program, parents just need to fill out a form that has the instructions and a tracking log on the back. This form needs to be turned in by a specific date either by email or at the concession stand. Parents participate by logging their walks they do during their child’s practice. This may be around the field, court, or around the halls in the rec center. The program runs half way through the season, so that at a game 6 names of participants can be drawn from a hat. The 6 participants whose names are drawn win a $25 voucher to a future recreation program.
4. Have you established any partnerships through this program?
There are no partners with this program, because they were running another walking program that had many partners. Tried to make it easy and different from the walking program that is 5 weeks.
5. How long has this program been running?
This fall will be the 7th installment, or in other words, the 3rd year.
6. How do you promote this program to the public?
We promote it at practices, with flyers, our website, social media, and the information is handed out at the coaches meeting. The coaches can then pass on the information to the parents.
7. In what ways do participants benefit?
Graham Parks and Recreation wanted to promote a healthy community, they had already been given a grant to promote healthy food options, and we wanted to build off of that. We decided to target people that were already there during the programs, and this provided them an outlet to be active at no cost to them. Another benefit was that the parents could be active and still be able to see their child during practice. Plus, those that turned in their form would have the chance to win the voucher.
8. Are there any challenges or obstacles that you have had to overcome regarding Don’t Sit Get Fit?
The biggest challenge is getting people to turn in their forms. I would see people doing some form of the program at practices, and I’d asked if they were part of or heard about the program, but they would forget to sign up. There always seems to be more people participating, than the number of people who turned in their forms. Just because on paper there seems to be a lack of numbers, doesn’t mean we shouldn’t continue the program, more people may join down the road.
9. What has been the biggest success of this program? Or what do you consider success for this program?
The biggest success is seeing people out there doing it. I would also invite other parents to get up and walk around with me when I was at a practice.
10. How do you plan to make the program or how is the program sustainable?
It is sustainable because there is no cost to running it, except for the 25 dollar voucher. Also it is free for people to do it. The bottom line is that it's a very simple and inexpensive program that has the potential to change one person’s life, and if we can do that, then we’ve succeeded.