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News : Sports Mar 22, 2012 - 11:01 AM

Special Olympics' Urban Youth Day to inspire healthy lifestyles

By Special Olympics Connecticut

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More than 300 middle school students are expected to participate in Special Olympics Connecticut’s 2012 Urban Youth Day on Tuesday, April 3rd at the Floyd Little Athletic Center, New Haven, from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. This annual event will give students, and their teachers and family members, the opportunity to experience a Special Olympics program in a half-day format. Students who attend schools in Bridgeport, Danbury, New Britain, New Haven, Norwalk, Stamford and Waterbury are invited to take part this year. Comcast is the Presenting Sponsor. For more information, call 203-230-1201.

The event will recognize and nurture the potential of children of all abilities through sports and promote a healthy lifestyle. For a first time, participants in Urban Youth Day will be introduced to the Testing Recreational Activities and Improving Nutrition Program, known at TRAIN, which was developed by Special Olympics International. TRAIN is a health assessment and educational program, designed to assess Special Olympics athletes’ sports skills and provide them with nutritional information so they will make healthy choices.

Athletes will go through a series of sport skills and nutrition stations. The sport skill stations will test seven basic sport skills, including aerobic endurance, balance, coordination, flexibility, power, strength and speed/agility. The process will help athletes identify their strongest skills, areas for improvement and other Special Olympics sports they might wish to try. The nutrition stations will engage students in learning about different food groups, the functions of food groups, and how to make well-balanced plates.

Each student who completes the day’s activities will be honored with a medal and will receive a take-home packet, including materials that reinforce healthy practices. Sixty volunteers and 65 coaches will also take part, sharing their time and expertise to provide a meaningful experience for the students involved.

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