All it takes is 60 minutes a day.
That’s the mantra of the 60 Minute Kids’ Club, a fun and engaging physical activity program designed to get children from Kindergarten to Grade 6 excited about making healthy living choices.
Over 180 elementary students from five local schools recently took up the challenge, enrolling themselves in the fall session (from Oct. 1 – Dec. 1). They were so successful that one of their schools, Collettville, finished first in the district, first in the province of B.C. and third overall in Canada.
A formal announcement of the nation-wide results was made at Collettville School’s month-end assembly on Dec. 18. A very excited group of 55 youngsters, ranging in age from 5 to 12, was presented with a special 60MKC banner by local co-ordinators Felicity Peat from the City of Merritt Leisure Services Dept. and Josée Warren from the Interior branch of PacificSport.
“We also acknowledged the top 10 kids at each school for their participation, and had a party for them on Dec. 23 at the civic centre and aquatic centre,” said Warren.
The 60 Minutes Kids’ Club is a school-based activation program, originally designed by a pair of elementary teachers. Its aim is to empower children and their families with the knowledge and skills to live a healthy and active lifestyle. The program engages kids through an online, interactive medium with goal setting, accountability and fun incentives.
“We had a launch assembly at each school,” said Warren, “and sent information home to the parents. After that, the kids took over.”
At the heart of the 60MKC program are the 5-2-1-0 guidelines:
* Enjoy five or more vegetables or fruits every day.

* Power down to no more than two hours of screen time a day.

* Play actively at least one hour a day.

* Choose healthy by consuming zero sugar or sweetened drinks.

This foundation of physical fitness and healthy nutrition will assist in enhancing children’s quality of life as research shows that people who are active and eat healthy decrease their risk of cardiovascular disease, stroke, hypertension, type 2 diabetes and some types of cancer.
Warren said both she and Peat plan to visit local schools again in the new year and encourage even more students to sign up for the next 60MKC challenge which is scheduled to run from Jan. 15 to Mar. 15.