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News, November 2013

A Healthy Youth Life Style is Formed in Belaya Kalitva

Under the program Youth Votes for Health! managed by the Fund for Sustainable Development and funded by the Alcoa Foundation, 8 outdoor fitness grounds with 82 pieces of exercise equipment have been built in Belaya Kalitva city and raion during the past three years. They have become part of the every-day life of most of local schoolchildren. In addition, all community members, including students, teachers, parents and senior citizens, now have a unique possibility to improve their health free of charge.

Every year over fifteen hundred children, who have been trained to use the fitness machines, begin activity attending these grounds together with adults. Thus, in 2011, when the first 2 fitness grounds have appeared in the yard of the local Children’s Creativity Center and in School # 9, nearly 1,600 children and adults began working out there. In the course of 2012, another 3 such grounds appeared in the city and raion of Belaya Kalitva, thus expanding the number of attendees to 5,000. Three new ones built in 2013 have provided access to the 2,100 students of 3 schools located in the city and raion made it possible to also include work-outs in regular gym lessons, in the physical activities of after-school groups and training at local sports schools.

Surveys based on questioners have shown that the number of schoolchildren attending the fitness grounds on a regular basis (i.e. for 15-20 munities 2-3 and more times a day) is growing. Thus, three years ago when the first exercise equipment was installed in school yards, nearly 56% of students said that they often used them as part of their daily routine, while three years after up to 80% answered “yes” when asked whether they regularly worked out on street fitness equipment.

It is a good development that the new outdoor gym equipment attracts the attention of not only students, their parents, teachers and school administrators, but of the staff of the city’s Ñommittee for Physical Culture, Sports and Youth, the Education Department and the Administration of Belaya Kalitva Raion, local media and CJSC Alcoa Metallurg Rus Corporate Relations Department. The many-year partner and operator of Alcoa Foundation programs in Russia, the non-profit Fund for Sustainable Development (Moscow) is conducting an on-going communications effort at the federal level. Starting from 2011, the program Youth Votes for Health! has been included in the library of best practices of forming a healthy life style among youth in Russia.

The Program offers not only new health improvement opportunities, but a chance to know more about healthy life styles and to apply one’s knowledge and skills in healthy lifestyle promotion. During the three years of the Program, the contest Healthy Life Style and Security has served as such a theoretical and practical platform, where teachers and students develop new lessons and training for small children and veterans and create cartoons and social advertisements.

Thus, in 2012, nearly 2,000 students from 21 schools participated in the Health Life Style Lesson.

What’s Next?

In 2014 the Program is continuing. Two more outdoor fitness grounds will be built and fitness training by instructor E.Kisileva, who is also a training specialist at the local Children’s Creativity Center, will go on. In June 2014, a contest for the best idea for an outdoor fitness ground in the city will be announced. All community members will be invited to participate in this Volunteer Projects Fair by submitting their applications. The best ideas will be selected on the basis of a popular voting via the internet and the winners will be awarded funds for fulfilling their ideas. Welcome to the city program Vote for Health!

E.Bondarchuk, FSD projects manger (Moscow)

I.Seredina, training specialist, Children’s Creativity Center (Belaya Kalitva)

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