‘Triple Play’ Platform Keeps Kids in Shape

6/22/2016, 10:59 a.m. | Updated on 6/22/2016, 10:59 a.m.
According to the Healthy Chicago report produced by the City of Chicago in 2011, childhood obesity has more than tripled ...
Triple Play in action: A Boys & Girls Counselor congratulates a young member on his home run. (Photo courtesy of Boys & Girls Club of America)

‘Triple Play’ Platform Keeps Kids in Shape

By Monique Smith

According to the Healthy Chicago report produced by the City of Chicago in 2011, childhood obesity has more than tripled over the past three decades in the United States. Compared to children at a healthy weight, children who are overweight or obese have a higher risk of developing cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes and other physical and psychological ailments. Obesity is related to biology and behaviors, but is also impacted by family and household factors, the surrounding community and society in general.

The Centers for Disease Control reported in 2011 that 17% of adolescent children ages 2-19 are overweight or obese and in Illinois 34.9% percent of the children are overweight exceeding the national average.

The James Jordan Boys & Girls Club of Chicago recently held an event called Triple Play to educate club and community members, ages 6-14 on the importance of maintaining a healthy mind, body and soul.

The directive for their programming is to get 1 million minutes of activity a month out of the children who attend their clubs across the country.

According to the Sr. Director of Health and Wellness for the Boys & Girls Club of America, Kristin Unzicker, the James Jordon club was 1 of 10 clubs across the country selected to spearhead the National Triple Play events that will take place at clubs across the country on July 14th.

Chicago was the second city to host a Triple Play event because it is a major city and has high rates of obesity among children and adults.

Unzicker said, “The national Triple Play platform is based on a 3-prong approach, it’s BGCA’s first comprehensive health and wellness program, developed in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, strives to improve the overall health of club members ages 6-18 by increasing their daily physical activity, teaching them good nutrition and helping them develop healthy relationships. The Mind component encourages young people to eat smart through the Healthy Habits program, which covers the power of choice, calories, vitamins and minerals, the food pyramid and appropriate portion size. The Body component boosts the clubs’ traditional physical activities to a higher level by providing sports and fitness activities for all youth. Body programs include six Daily Fitness Challenges; teen Sports Clubs focused on leadership development, service and careers in athletics; and Triple Play Games Tournaments, inter-Club sectional tournaments that involve multiple team sports. The Soul component helps build positive relationships and cooperation among young people.”

Wanda Noyes, program director at the James Jordan Club said, “We’ve been a part of the Triple Play initiative all year round. We demonstrate to the parents and the child the benefits of adapting healthy habits. One of the ways we do this is by offering healthy cooking classes and fitness classes and we’re able to do this thanks to our partnerships and sponsors like the Anthem Foundation.”

There are 4200 BGCA’s across American including those on Native lands and military bases. Membership fees annually are $20.