BRISTOL, Tenn. — Sixteen of Avoca Elementary School’s top student athletes sweated, panted and pushed their way through a fitness course Thursday while their classmates stomped their feet and cheered during the first Avoca KidFit Games.
Kids in fourth, fifth and sixth grades competed at the gym in a circuit consisting of burpees, jumping rope, medicine ball downward slam throws and sprints with a medicine ball, while more than 100 classmates and several parents supported them. Boys and girls competed separately, and the top three competitors were given medals.
“It was very hard, but really fun. It was a great experience,” said competitor Kayley Salyers.
Martin Winters, a physical education teacher and organizer of the event, said he came up with the idea because he wanted to inspire kids to be more active. He said he sees many of the students only once a week, so the event provided an extra opportunity for kids to get excited about fitness.
Six kids in fourth grade, six in fifth and four in sixth represented their grades and each had to qualify by taking a test of their aerobic fitness and mobility. Even so, many of the kids who competed found the event to be challenging.
“It was really hard, because I never had to do something like that before,” Zoey Phillips said.
Winters said he based the competition on the CrossFit Games. All those who competed did a great job, he added.
“I’m proud of all of them, I couldn’t have done that course in the time they did,” he said.