Getting kids excited about fitness may seem like a challenge, especially when electronics and screen time compete for a child’s attention. But the Cat Club Challenge—a free NXT GEN Fitness & Performance Training program set for Dec. 13 in Port Washington—makes exercise a fun-filled experience for kids ages seven to 17, no matter their fitness level.
At the Cat Club Challenge, a NXT GEN coach evaluates the kids as though they were professional athletes, measuring speed, agility, flexibility and more. But instead of being ranked as, say, a white or yellow belt as a beginner would in martial arts, students in the Cat Club Challenge might start out as bobcats and work their way up to the cheetah level.
“The Cat Club Challenge offers a motivational strategy to get kids excited about fitness,” said NXT GEN Director John Cirilo. He continued, “Kids love it.”
Still, even though most parents know how important exercise is for their children, especially at a time of increased childhood obesity, getting kids to embrace fitness can be a tough sell.
“Ten-year-olds want to play Xbox,” Cirilo noted. “But they also want to be faster, and beat their friends in a race. To be faster, you have to be stronger, lose fat and be conditioned.”
That’s where the Cat Club Challenge comes in. Kids discover how they can improve, and their parents can see how their children compare with their peers. Those who enroll at NXT GEN often stick with the program for the next three to five years, Cirilo said.
And there’s an added benefit to all that training—it helps increase self-confidence and self-esteem, Cirilo noted.
The Dec. 13 Cat Club Challenge is open to 7- to 11-year-olds from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m., and to 12-to 17-year-olds from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.
The program is free. As part of its year-round effort to give back to the community, NXT GEN will be collecting $10 donations and will give all proceeds to the Athletic Association of Port Washington, a nonprofit that provides financial support for local athletic and physical education.
NXT GEN Fitness & Performance Training is located at 2 Channel Dr. To learn more about the Cat Club Challenge, visit www.nxtgenfitness.com or call 516-883-7678.