Charity Organization gets Kids Healthy by Playing Volleyball

By Sara Farr

The sun was beating down and the sand started flying, April 7, as a little boy ran to spike the volleyball in the air that came his way at Sunset Park. One of the UNLV volleyball girls threw it at him. He wacked it over the net and started to do a dance. It is this idea of exercising is fun to fight obesity that the Jump for Joy foundation wants to get across according to Anthony Alegrete, the founder and executive director of Jump for Joy Foundation and a current UNLV business student.

The Camp Jump Volley Against Obesity was sponsored by Outside Las Vegas Foundation. The outdoor affair included volleyball classes for children and nutrition classes for adults.

The activities began at Sunset Park that featured testimonials from individuals who have been personally affected in life by diet and exercise. The event began with a group warm up consisting of stretching and passing the volleyballs.

UNLV Volleyball women’s team was there as the leaders in teaching the children how to play volleyball. Head coach Cindy Fredrick and assistant coach Nels Rydberg were there with five players from the team giving back to the community. The opportunity to share the sport of volleyball with the youth of the community to hopefully inspire the future students of UNLV to become active was a reason the team wanted to become involved.

Getting children active in the community was the over all theme of why many businesses wanted to be involved with this event like Hot 97.5. Seeing the children making healthier choices and their parents getting involved is a positive movement in the Las Vegas community that has companies like Hot 97.5 staying involved with the Jump for Joy Foundation.

Mike Rubin has been personally active in the organization Jump for Joy for over a year and a half after being introduced to the cause as he was going through his own body transformation. His belief in the good this organization and what it brings to the community has transcended into his father and his fraternity being repeat volunteers.  Through the nutrition classes offered through Camp Jump Mike has been able to lose and keep off 100 pounds. “Gives kids an opportunity to live and learn. (This camp has the) Ability to get kids out and understanding that kicking a ball, (and) playing in the sand leads to a healthier life style.”

The event was able to pull about 60 kids from all over Las Vegas, 30 volunteers, 40 parents, 10 vendors along with the UNLV women’s volleyball staff and players. The idea behind this event came from the partnership with Outside Las Vegas Foundation who wanted to do something outdoors and picked Sunset Park. Sunset Park is currently under construction and it limited what Jump for Joy could do however the volleyball courts were open and it made sense to the organization leaders for the activity.

Branden Collinsworth is a UNLV graduate who was training Anthony Alegrete when the idea was brought up to create a health change for America’s youth. The goal is to have obesity camps across the nation in the next 5 years. “We can create a movement with passionate people and inspire the community to become the change they wish to see,” Collinsworth said.

“Childhood obesity is an epidemic that is plaguing the United States very bad and there are is not enough programs out there that make it fun and cool for kids to be active, healthy and fit. So we started the Jump for Joy foundation so we could make a real change through real application and the only way to do it is making it fun and cool for the kids,” said Anthony Alegrete.

Seen enjoying the event and having fun with the kids was Lisa Heck, Rep. Joe Heck’s wife who is a registered nurse and passionate about childhood obesity.

The next event that Jump for Joy will be hosting will be on May 5 at UNLV.  It is this event, Rebels fighting Obesity that they hope to take on tour across the states to each college campus. It is these two student leaders with a team of undergraduates from UNLV that are on their way to having a 100 million dollar non-profit organization.

For more information on the Jump for Joy Foundation, visit www.j4jf.org.

Next Event is Rebels Fighting Obesity on May 5thRebels Fighting Obesity: Facebook Event

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