Friday, January 30, 2009

Health Club Sponsoring Student Essay Contest

“Westboro Tennis & Swim Club is sponsoring its first annual Healthy Lifestyle Essay Contest for local seventh graders this February. Students’ essays must address the question, ‘What could a seventh grader do to stay healthy in mind and body?’ Practices for a healthy lifestyle including physical activity, nutrition and a healthy mind must be mentioned in the submissions, as well as personal examples of each. All essays are due Friday, Feb. 6, and must contain no more than 700 words. The winner will be determined by a panel of judges, including one staff member each from the Fitness, Nutrition, Wellness and Membership Departments at the Westboro Tennis & Swim Club, and be announced on Monday, Feb. 23. This contest was developed by Karen B. Bloom, Member Services Representative at the Westboro Tennis & Swim Club and a former health education teacher in Westborough, who has contacted many local area schools to participate in the contest. The purpose for this essay challenge is to educate families about the importance of physical exercise in order to counteract the increasing childhood obesity rate in America. In a recent study of a group of overweight teenagers, researchers asked their parents to evaluate their children’s health. Although every teen was overweight, only 41 percent of their parents considered their children to be so, and only 35 percent of the teens considered themselves to be overweight. ‘I believe it’s important to encourage healthy habits early on with kids to help prevent health related issues later in life,’ said Matt Valyo, Certified Personal Trainer and USAT Certified Triathlon Coach at the Westboro Tennis & Swim Club. ‘A lack of physical activity can cause early on set of heart disease, diabetes, osteoporosis and much more.’ The winning student will receive a one-year junior fitness membership and a one-year adult fitness membership for a parent. The club’s hope is that this reward will show families that practicing healthy behaviors together encourages them to maintain their health. ‘We all know that our children imitate our behavior,’ said Bloom. ‘If we encourage families to work out together, research shows that a habit developed in a child’s youth is a habit for life.’ All essays should be submitted to Bloom by mail at 35 Chauncy Street, Westborough, MA 01581 or by email to For additional information about the essay contest call 508-366-1222.”

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