Arizona’s children are in trouble – nearly 18% of children in Arizona ages 10-17 are considered obese. Much of this can be attributed to lack of physical activity. Statistics released by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Trust for America’s Health ranks Arizona 15th in the nation for childhood obesity, with only 30% of children ages 6-17 participating in daily rigorous activity.
What can be done about this epidemic? TriSports.com has teamed up with local contributors including the Perimeter Bicycling Association of America, the Zuckerman Family Foundation, Bookmans, Nourishing Results and Purple Cow Creative to fund the Jr. El Tour to be held in conjunction with Tucson’s El Tour de Tucson cycling event held in November. The mission of the program: take 20 underprivileged and over-weight children on a 12-week training journey to complete in the 40 mile option of El Tour de Tucson. Along the way the kids will learn about nutrition, bike maintenance and how to live a healthy lifestyle. 2010 marks the 4th year of the Jr. El Tour program; a program created by Pyramid Coaching’s Scott Blanchard and ProActive Physical Therapy’s John Woolf. Ultimately this pair designed the program to help lay the foundation for living an active and healthy lifestyle through their teenage and adult years. The program provides bikes for the kids to ride, which can be kept once successfully completing the event. Some kids already know how to ride a bike – many do not.
In his photo essay, Tom Demerly will take you on your own journey with images taken during the distribution and fitting of the kid’s new Scott bikes. It is our hope that through our involvement, we can inspire others to become involved in helping combat our nation’s childhood obesity problem.