Fit 5 helps a Young Athlete learn how to exercise and “eat the rainbow”

July 29, 2021

7-year-old Young Athlete Ken Vroman of Eau Claire had a blast participating in our virtual Young Athletes Fit 5 program that concluded in June.

He stood out for his dedication, attitude and constant willingness to participate. “Ken was one of our superstars during this virtual session. He showed up for every class with a positive attitude and his Young Athletes Fit 5 water bottle ready to practice,” said Young Athletes Manager Jenna Lang.

Ken Vroman with his certificate for completing the Young Athletes Fit 5 program

Fit 5 was developed in 2017 to educate and empower athletes to live a healthy lifestyle by supporting them in three simple goals: 5 days of physical activity per week, 5 fruits and vegetables per day, and 5 bottles of water per day. This session was the first time that it was offered in a virtual format to members of the Young Athletes program, kids 2-10 both with and without intellectual disabilities.

After the conclusion of the program, Lang traveled to the homes of Vroman and the other participating Young Athletes to conduct well-deserved awards ceremonies. For Vroman, the ceremony was the perfect culmination of a fun and informative eight weeks.

“Everything was good. I learned about exercising and eating the rainbow,” Vroman said. “My award ceremony was good too because I felt special.”

“He now views fitness and activity as an important part of his life.” – Vroman’s mom, Shino Iwashita

“Eating the rainbow” refers to the idea that eating different colored fruits and vegetables can benefit you in different ways. It was something that Vroman was especially interested in and adept at during Fit 5.

“During our nutrition segment Ken was always raising his hand and waiting patiently to tell us what color of the rainbow was good for our immune system or eyes. He also gave plenty of examples of different colored fruit and veggies, some of which I have never heard of before!” Lang said.

Vroman (center with certificate) and his family during his award ceremony

While Lang was impressed with his commitment to the nutrition component of Fit 5, Vroman’s mom took note of how much of an impact the program had on his interest in physical activity.

“He now views fitness and activity as an important part of his life. This no doubt is largely due to this Special Olympics program providing entry-level, child-friendly activities that he could do, and yet were challenging enough and unstructured enough that he could find motivation in himself and start by himself,” said Vroman’s mom, Shino Iwashita.

Between physical activity and eating the rainbow, Vroman is in a good position to prioritize taking good care of himself for the rest of his life. These are life lessons that few people are equipped with at 7-years-old. But thanks to the Fit 5 program and his own dedication to it, Vroman seems to be set on the right track. His mom seems to agree as well.

“It is a great program, and our family strongly supports and recommends it,” Iwashita said.


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