Orlando Magic Youth Basketball Academy Celebrates NBA FIT Week with MAGIC Fit Fun Day
By Josh Cohen
Jan. 24, 2018
OCOEE, Fla. – It’s NBA FIT Week 2018, and the Orlando Magic are doing everything they can to spread a very important message to children.
The message – made loud and clear at the Orange Campus’ Kids Community College Charter School on Wednesday – encourages students to exercise regularly and eat nutritiously throughout the year.
When a child stays active and is disciplined with their diet, he or she usually has success in and out of the classroom. The Magic certainly helped slam home this essential lesson with a MAGIC Fit Fun Day at the charter elementary school for their outstanding participation in the MAGIC Fit four-week fitness challenge.
Magic rookies Wes Iwundu and Khem Birch, Community Ambassadors Nick Anderson and Bo Outlaw, Magic Dancers and other volunteers from the Magic were on hand to reward the students and guide them through various physical fitness challenges, including a running relay obstacle course and egg and spoon race.
“It’s very important for us to be out here today because we get to interact with the kids and do fitness activities with them and show how important it is to be in shape,” Iwundu said. “It’s very exciting.”
“It’s good to see them smiling and enjoying themselves,” Birch said. “It’s a very good moment. Making kids happy is important. I love children. I just want to see the children smile.”
The Magic Fit fitness challenge is an incentive-based exercise program for children created by Magic Head Strength and Conditioning Coach Bill Burgos and is connected to the Orlando Magic Youth Basketball Academy, which provides life skills and expert basketball instruction to local youth.
This year, 31 Central Florida schools and more than 17,000 students participated in the four-week challenge logging more than 12 million minutes of exercise. Of those 31 schools, 14 completed the challenge with 100 percent school participation. After a random drawing, Kids Community College was selected as the grand prize winner of a MAGIC Fit Fun Day.
“Initially, we were very excited just to participate in the fit fun club to teach the students life-long healthy living skills but to have the Magic out here to execute those skills in a fun activity day is just amazing,” said Keri Hefferin, campus director at Kids Community College – Orange Campus.
Hefferin says she and other faculty at the charter school make a concerted effort to be innovative and inspire the children, which keeps them motivated both with their school assignments and physical activities.
“Our school embraces multiple intelligences,” she said. “We have a lot of learners that learn best when they’re moving. So, it just really goes hand in hand with their style of learning. When you take a tour of our school, you’ll see kids moving or their sitting on alternative seating like the exercise balls because it helps them to stay focused when they are moving and engaged.”
NBA FIT Week features programs and events designed to inspire the NBA family to be active, eat healthy and play together, while teaching values of the game like hard work, discipline, leadership and teamwork.