TULSA SHOCK PARTNER WITH TULSA PUBLIC SCHOOLS AND GET FIT TULSA TO PROMOTE EXERCISE AND HEALTHY LIFESTYLES FOR KIDS
“I made it, that’s all I can say,” said Tulsa Shock forward, Plenette Pierson, laughing. “It was fun to be out there and interacting with the fans.”
Pierson and teammate Alexis Hornbuckle ran the one-mile fun run at the University of Tulsa as part of Get Fit Tulsa’s Hoopin’ It program. After completing their own run, Pierson and Hornbuckle cheered on fans and handed out water at the finish line as the hundreds of participants finished the 5K, including team President Steve Swetoha and Marlene Livaudais of the Tulsa Shock.
“There are 1,000 plus kids that run, said Cara Phippen, founder of Get Fit Tulsa. “I’m excited that the Tulsa Shock joined me. Having the players out here with the kids makes all the difference.”
Get Fit Tulsa is an initiative that attempts to bring the interactive HOPSports training system in every school in Oklahoma. The unique set of exercise attempts to reduce childhood obesity via interactive floor mats that make physical education more enjoyable for students.
“Obesity happens at a such high rate. It can be easily handled,” Hornbuckle said. “Kids, you want them to get out and play and play for hours rather than sitting inside and playing video games. So to be a part of this is great thing.”
After the race, Pierson and Hornbuckle along with Mayor Kathy Taylor handed out awards to the winners in each division and then took the festivities to the basketball court at The Reynolds Center where they stretched and warmed-up in accordance with the HOPSports rituals. Pierson immediately gravitated towards helping the youngest children.
“It’s so cute,” Pierson said. “They (kids) are just out here and trying to learn anything and everything and they are quick learners. I love kids so I took it upon myself to take the little ones out. They might not get everything perfect but they tried really hard.”
Once warmed-up, four members of the University of Tulsa girls’ basketball team joined Hornbuckle and Pierson on the court to teach dribbling, passing and basketball tricks including Hornbuckle’s spin-the-basketball-on-the-finger which got the kids all riled up and excited to participate.
“I’ve been in love with the game of basketball since I can remember,” said Trish Pruitt, Coordinator of Physical Education at Tulsa Public Schools. “The opportunity to partner with the WNBA and have these young women come out as role models and work with the students and take that love and passion they have for the game and for life and to pass that on to our students is an experience that you can’t measure. Incredible.”