The Sky Brought the Heat for the Annual Fitness Festival

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The Chicago Sky teamed up with Girls in the Game to host their annual fitness festival on the grounds of Allstate arena before Tuesday night’s game against the Seattle Storm. The Sky invited numerous youth groups across the Chicagoland area to participate in an educational and exciting event that focused on the importance of exercise for kids and teens. Over 1,000 kids, primarily girls, came out to enjoy the fun.

The organizer of this year’s festival, Erika Swilley, who is also the Director of Community Relations for the Sky, stressed the importance of the event.

“We do this to impact the youth, give them self-esteem and teach them about a healthy lifestyle through fitness,” said Swilley. “This is an opportunity to introduce them to different sports, activities and nutrition.”

Through the many stations at the event, youngsters danced, received Yoga instruction, competed in basketball dribbling competitions, played volleyball, shot the hockey puck and took part is many other enjoyable activities.

The American Diabetes Association (ADA) contributed to the fun by hosting a knockout dribbling competition that proved to be one of the favorite stations for the kids.

“We have nearly 26 million people with diabetes in this country, so we are really trying to reach as many kids as possible,” said ADA representative Ashley Oaks. “Also a lot of obesity is connected with diabetes.”

Girls in the Game brought out the troops to the festival. According to Amy Skeen, a spokesperson for Girls in the Game, it helps spread the important message of exercise and staying fit.

“After participating today we want the youth to realize that they are strong, that they have a voice, and that they have the ability to accomplish whatever they set their minds to,” said Skeen

The kids did not hold back in displaying their enthusiasm for the event. Tiye Hern from Chicago says, “I just got here and I’m having a lot of fun. I did the balancing already, the long-jump, volleyball. I’m planning on doing everything out here.”

However, the day did not end for the youngsters outside, once the Festival wrapped everyone entered the arena with plenty of energy to help cheer on the Sky at as they beat the 2010 WNBA champion Seattle Storm.