Free Exercise for EVERYONE! Each year, Variety International hosts a global convention and during that event, various efforts are recognized with awards. One of the biggest awards is the Innovation Award and this year’s winner was an innovative project from Fusion Fitness in Overland Park and Variety KC. It is a series of inclusive exercise videos specifically designed for all kids to participate. The videos star Variety Kids with special needs, their friends, and family members
Variety KC Kids Workout: Exercise for All Abilities
There are thousands of exercise and fitness videos on the market, but none specifically designed for inclusion of all parents, all kids – especially Variety Kids with special needs. Variety KC (Tent 8) partnered with Fusion Fitness in Overland Park, Kansas, to create a series of videos that would do just that. Variety KC Kids Workout – a safe and effective workout for kids of all abilities. Best of all, these innovative videos are free!
Fusion’s owner and fitness professional, Darby Brender, donated her time and location for the video shoot. Brender is featured in the videos along with Sarah Duffy (wife of KC Royals pitcher, Danny Duffy), and several local KC kids with different disabilities, including Cerebral Palsy, Dwarfism and Down Syndrome. Therapists and physicians were involved in the planning of the actual exercise programs, but as always – it is wise to consult your personal physician before starting a new exercise program.
“The vision was to provide another level of inclusion for local kids through an exercise video that allows special needs children the opportunity to move at their pace, strengthen muscles and challenge their physical strength and feel good!” says Deborah Wiebrecht, Variety KC Executive Director.
Brender says, “This is an area of fitness that has been underserved, yet the benefits of activity and exercise are even more important for children with special needs. We’re excited to launch this video for all kids, especially our friends at Variety.”
The videos have had a positive impact on health and budgets! Parents have been especially appreciative of the flexibility of the videos; it can be difficult to find times and places that allow for a family to participate in fitness together and videos can be costly. The Variety Kids Workout Video series is available online, for free, and is currently being used at local schools, day care centers, home schools and hospitals.
All Variety Tents are welcome to use the videos as well. You can access the Kids Workout videos on the Variety KC website – www.varietykc.org.
On a side note, the crew shooting the video said it was their favorite project ever. They were amazed that they were able to produce the videos in just one take! The kids were obviously having a great time participating at a variety of levels and it shows so clearly on their faces. Because the very nature of the videos are demonstration-based, they aren’t reliant on speech translation – making them useful around the globe.
All kids deserve the right to fitness and fun and this is just another way that Variety is a leader in making sure all kids have a chance to Be Active, Be Social, and Belong.
The videos are free and available to the public on Variety KC’s You Tube channel.