The YMCA of Metropolitan Los Angeles on Tuesday will launch an 8-week program to help children stay in shape as they stay home and learn remotely amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
The YMCA partnered with the nonprofit Ready, Set, Gold! to provide the digital classroom series featuring Olympians and Paralympians who will encourage kids to stay active while learning from home. The free program is intended for children in fifth through 12th grade, with new videos to be released on seven successive Mondays.
For many students who are distance-learning due to COVID-19, finding the time to exercise has been difficult, according to the YMCA.
"We recognize the important role physical activity plays in a child's overall development and the challenge parents face to provide a regular exercise routine while distance learning," said Mario Valenzuela, vice president of equity and inclusion at the YMCA of Metropolitan Los Angeles.
The program is open to all students via the YMCA website at ymcala.org/ready-set-gold.
Each 30-minute virtual Ready, Set, Gold! exercise class will give students the opportunity to exercise with an Olympian or Paralympian to help them reach their fitness goals through the life lessons provided by the athletes.
The series will teach students about a variety of topics that include growth mindset, embracing challenges, healthy living and nutrition, perseverance, and self-awareness, with corresponding workouts, according to the YMCA.
"From our work in schools, we know that sport can transform our youths' lives both on and off the field," said Michaela Reynolds, executive director of Ready, Set, Gold! "RSG! has created a path for our youth not only to safely workout but also learn from pivotal moments from Olympians and Paralympians careers, specifically social and emotional learning topics."
The series kicks off with Olympic medalist Kim Glass, who will cover growth mindset with an endurance workout.
Other athletes in the series include Olympic swimmers John Naber and John Moffet, who will talk about nutrition and healthy living, and Paralympian gold medalist Rudy Garcia-Tolson, who will speak about goal-setting and strength-based workouts.