LACKLAND AIR FORCE BASE, Texas –
The 802nd Force Support Squadron unveiled its plan for the new Air Force-wide FitFamily program Saturday with contests, information briefs and on-site registration at the youth center.
The program develops new resources and highlights already available ways families can engage in healthy activities on base, following Year of the Air Force Family's guiding principles.
"This is one more initiative to encourage families to get out and do things together," Airman and Family Services flight chief Debra Willey said.
Parents of youth basketball players were called out onto the courts to join in halftime free throw contests with their children.
Jesse Sills and his son, Wslee, were one of many pairs to take the challenge and receive a FitFamily certificate of appreciation.
Wslee played the first half with his team, the Spurs, then spent halftime rounding up his dad's shots.
"It was tons of fun," Jesse said. "We always try to do something healthy as a group."
The Sills said they plan on signing up online at www.usaffitfamily.com.
"We try to keep the whole family active," Jesse said. "When I go out running, the kids go out there with me."
At least 20 families registered online on computers setup in the lobby.
Activities recognized by the program cover three broad areas of fun, nutrition and sports and fitness.
The Web site suggests family activities, tips for leading healthy lifestyles, and a family goal tracker to monitor progress and calculate point totals.
Families input point-valued activities online to earn different levels of achievement. The top level of 2 million points earns a letter from the Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force.
Locally, a FitFamily of the month, and year, will be recognized, and rewarded with prizes such as Mission baseball tickets.
While building healthy habits and promoting fitness are main objectives of the program, Willey said it's ultimately about strengthening family ties.
"We're hoping to encourage more participation in our programs," she said. "There are a lot of great opportunities here. This is one more avenue to get the word out to families."
The outdoor recreation center, fitness centers, and Health and Wellness center are working together to create different monthly themes.
To highlight February's dance theme, the youth center is hosting a Nintendo Wii dance-off tournament Feb. 24, offering families a chance to win the game console.
Programs such as this one can have a lasting impact on the community, Lackland youth director Ruben Rodriguez said. As families are a big part of his day, he has seen first hand the impact of family programs.
"It helps brings families together, not only on a physical level but an emotional level, too," he said. "And to me, that's very rewarding."
For more information and guidelines, visit the FitFamily Web site at www.usaffitfamily.com