Making the Healthy Choice the Easy Choice

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NFL Speaker Encourages Youth to Continue Good Work; HYPE Teams Give Overview


Former NFL star and Camden native Vonnie Holliday addressed more than 80 HYPE Project youth and adult advisors last month at the 4th Annual Healthy Young People Empowerment (HYPE) Project Youth Summit in West Columbia. Holliday spoke about the importance of living a healthy life and giving back to the community. He commended the youth for giving back to their communities through their healthy eating, active living projects.

Following Holliday’s inspirational chat, five HYPE teams presented a project overview and status update of their efforts this year:

  1. Returning for a second year, the Allendale County HYPE team built on the momentum of their 2015 success to advocate for a walking track near Allendale-Fairfax High School in order to provide the community with a safe place to be physically active. The team also involved the USC Salkehatchie Student Advisory Council and community members to build support. This project is still underway.
  2. The Hampton County HYPE team assessed local restaurants and places for youth to be physically active. The Team chose to focus its project on physical activity and develop a community obstacle course to make physical activity fun. This project is still underway.
  3. In Kershaw County, the HYPE team focused on healthy food options at the community sports and recreational facility. Youth worked with the Kershaw County Recreational Department to develop healthy menu options at the concessions stand because many parents and children eat at the ballfield on game day. Early indications show a positive reaction to the healthy menu items. This project is still underway.
  4. Walking to and from school isn’t safe for many youth in Laurens County. The HYPE team is advocating for crosswalks, signs and other safety indicators on a main thoroughfare that students use every day during the school year. This project is still underway.
  5. The returning Orangeburg County HYPE team focused this year’s project on walking conditions in its community. The team hosted several community walks through specific neighborhoods and collected feedback from participants. The team garnered a lot of community support, as well as support from Orangeburg leaders, to improve safe places to walk. This project is still underway.

crunk_cardioIn addition to the five projects listed above, there are eight other HYPE Project teams throughout the state. They are: Anderson, Barnwell, York, Aiken, Berkeley, Lee, Greenville, and Florence. All of the projects are still underway, and youth will continue work in the coming months.

Throughout the day, youth and adults took advantage of physical activity breaks with Greenville-based group Crunk Cardio. Similar to Zumba, Crunk Cardio is an energizing, hip hop dance program that engages youth and adults in getting physically active. Crunk Cardio brought a fun element to an all-day Saturday event.