By Kelly Youngblood
Volunteers from Busey Bank are helping a group of local kids get ready for race day and hoping the lessons they learn while training will stick with them long after they cross the finish line.
Busey is partnering with the Don Moyer Boys & Girls Club of Champaign for “Get Up Get Active”- a new initiative that promotes a healthy and active lifestyle for community youth.
As part of “Get Up Get Active”, Busey volunteers will serve as coaches and mentors to help members of the Boys and Girls Club prepare to participate in the Busey Youth Run on April 25. The race, which is just over half a mile, is part of the Christie Clinic Illinois Marathon.
Before the race, Busey volunteers will meet with youth once a week for fitness sessions that will include stretching, cardiovascular games, and training runs to build up endurance. The sessions will also include discussions about living a healthy lifestyle.
Colin DeCair, a Customer Experience Manager at Busey and a driving force behind the new program, said the goal is to “try to empower the kids to make good decisions themselves.”
DeCair says “Get Up Get Active” is a personal passion for him. Several years ago, DeCair was out of shape and weighed 400 pounds, but through lot’s of hard work and dedication, he is now down to a “more reasonable weight.”
“This has personal meaning to me which is why I really wanted to tackle this project and set it up. The goal is to develop that healthy lifestyle and help these kids potentially avoid the path I myself ended up following,” DeCair said.
Charles Burton, Unit Director of the Don Moyer Boys & Girls Club in Champaign, said they are thrilled to work with Busey and help implement the new “Get Up Get Active” program.
“Promoting healthy lifestyles and being active with a caring adult, in a fun and engaging environment is an awesome way to impact our youth and change perceptions towards cardiovascular activities,” Burton said.
“(The) initiative is aligned with the mission and goals of the Club, which is to enable all young people, especially those who need us most, to reach their full potential as productive, caring responsible citizens,” Burton added.
Currently, 16 youth have signed up for “Get Up Get Active” but there are still several spots open. The goal is get 25 kids to participate. The program is only for youth members of the Don Moyer Boys & Girls Club.
The sessions will be held Wednesdays in April (April 1, 8, 15, 22) from 4:30-5:30 p.m. at the Don Moyer Boys & Girls Club in Champaign or at Douglass Park, depending on the weather.
Click here for more information about the Illinois Christie Clinic Marathon or the Busey Youth Run.