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United We Sweat Field Day to engage youngsters in healthy living

A United We Sweat Field Day at Midview High School’s Ross Field, 38199 Capel Road in Grafton, will take place Sept. 18 to share fitness activities with youngsters of the Midview School District.

Partners of United We Sweat and over 70 volunteers will facilitate fitness stations and wellness activities from 11:45 a.m. to 2 p.m. for 1,000 fifth- through eighth-grade Midview students.

Students, teachers and family may participate in the exercises.

Ryan Aroney, marketing and development director of United Way of Greater Lorain County, said activities include lunges, jumping jacks, relay races, parachute games and more.

Aroney said the annual Sweat Field Day will engage students in ways to stay active without equipment and show them how to have a healthy heart rate.

It’s a fun sight to see when over a thousand students running across the field, he said.

United We Sweat focuses on giving youngsters the tools to living healthy lifestyles so they can flourish in their high school careers and beyond, Aroney said.

“It’s important to know that this is not just about one day to teach and empower to give (the children) resources,” he said. “It’s for them to continue to use these activities and spread that to others.”

The Sweat Field Day is set for one day out of the year, but is part of an ongoing initiative that is collaborative between the school district and other local organizations.

Aroney said University Hospitals Avon Health Center first partnered with United Way in 2011 to help break barriers of having a better lifestyle.

Those barriers are cost of a fitness membership and one’s ability to get to a fitness center.

Following 2011, United We Sweat welcomed new partners: the French Creek Family YMCA, Lorain County Community College, Lorain County Metro Parks, Lorain County Public Health and United Way of Greater Lorain County.

Aroney said the partnership has helped alleviate those barriers by opening their facilities to the public, offering free classes and community outreach events throughout the county.

The opportunities are offered year-round, he said.

United We Sweat aims to ensure that everyone has access to quality physical activities no matter their location, income, age or skill level, Aroney said.

Midview School District is a partner in the collaborative, along with Clearview Local Schools and Firelands Local Schools.

Aroney said the districts provide wrap-around services that address the connection between healthy behaviors and academic achievement.

United We Sweat and United Way are working with other local school districts that could offer the public usage of its facilities.

So far, Keystone Local School District offers its facilities to the public, Aroney said.

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