Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

October 13, 2012

Second Sunday Initiative event to be this week

Residents encouraged to play their way to healthier lifestyles

Carrie Stambaugh
The Independent

ASHLAND — Go play!

That is the message from organizers of this weekend’s Second Sunday Initiative in Central Park. The free event, from 1 to 5 p.m. on the Central Avenue side of the park, will feature many agencies and activities. It’s aimed at providing ways for residents to play their way to healthier lifestyles.

“It’s a statewide initiative to get people in the community out and participating in physical activities in the comfort of their community,” said Christina Kelley, who is the Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program assistant with the University of Kentucky Boyd County Cooperative Extension Service.

Other partner agencies in the event include the Ashland-Boyd County Health Department, the Healthy Kids Healthy Communities Coalition, King’s Daughters Medical Center and Boyd County EMS.

“They are going to do a lot of different demonstrations and hand out information on the different types of physical activities they provide,” Kelley said. “We just want people to come out and find a different physical activity that they can participate in that is out of the norm.

“When people think of physical activity, they think they have to go to a gym and run on a treadmill or they think of regular sports like baseball, basketball or football,” she said, adding there are many nontraditional activities that can boost health.

“We’d like everyone to find something that they normally wouldn’t think of that they would enjoy,” she said.

Activities will include a hula hoop competition, dance, Zumba, kung fu, tennis and Rhoades cars, which are similar to bicycles except for their four wheels. The Ashland Fire Department will bring its Safety House and KDMC will operate an obstacle course.

A bicycle rodeo will take place from 2 to 4 p.m., featuring bicycle and helmet giveaways. Members of the Ashland Cycling Enthusiasts and Ashland Police Department will discuss bicycle safety and give demonstrations.

“It is all of our responsibility to improve bicycle safety,” said Holly West, a program coordinator at the health department, noting Ashland has a high rate of bicycle accidents compared to other areas in the state. She said the bike rodeo is appropriate for ages 3 to 12. Participants will be placed in age groups for an education and rodeo course, which will take about an hour.

“We want the kids to have a good time and have fun,” she said.

At 3 p.m., a Blue and White Walk will take participants around Central Park twice. The cost is $10 for an individual or $25 for a group of three or more, and includes a T-shirt. Proceeds will benefit the UK Children’s Hospital.

“We really want people to come out and participate. No one will leave empty-handed,” West said.  

CARRIE STAMBAUGH can be reached at cstambaugh@dailyindependent.com or (606) 326-2653.