BTFL has worked with the Wesley Youth for five continuous semesters. The Youth trained for and completed the Heights Fun Run in 2009 and the Rockets Run in 2010. Throughout 2010, BTFL staff and volunteers worked with the kids twice a week. Tuesday was typically fitness training at the Wesley campus, utilizing weight equipment donated through BTFL. Wednesdays were the training run held at Memorial Park. As competition days approach, BTFL would meet with the Wesley kids on additional days during the week to ensure they were prepared to compete. On average, 5-8 kids worked out on each day, and 16 kids took part in the most recent competition.
- Carlos won pushups w/ 57
- Aaron won situps w/ 226
- Lewis won squats w/168
- Cruz, Carlos, Alondra, Urien, Juan, and Angel all ran the Memorial loop without stopping.
It was a great success, and we believe we can build on this next year.
12-month results from Wesley Youth Program (varies by individual)
First Phase – 5 kids
Second Phase – 8-12 kids
Third Phase – 12-20 kids
Wesley Youth Program Participants:
- Showed an increased sense of accomplishment and confident attitude. Four of the original kids made their school track team and are quoted as saying that before the BTFL program, they did not believe enough in themselves to even try out.
- Completed a 5K event, and many wanted to train to do it again;
- Gained a healthy sense of competition;
- Increased personal physical fitness, became stronger and faster, and lost weight;
- Enjoyed a healthy and positive after-school activity;
- Learned that nutrition is important for performance and overall wellbeing;
- Gained a sense of belonging and appreciation. One young girl said the best thing about BTFL is “No one has ever showed up for me every week and you guys do.”
BTFL started the Archway program in Spring 2010 and trained the kids to run the 5K Astros Race for the Pennant at the end of May. We brought in motivational speakers, including an athlete in recovery who spoke to the teens about how exercise changed his life, a nutritionist, and an exercise-oriented motivational speaker. The group trained, prepared, and completed the 5K run. More importantly, the entire group plus additional youth want to train again to complete another race.
BTFL welcomed many new teens this fall. Archway's first fall training run began in November 2010. BTFL will utilize our entire curriculum and work toward completing the Rockets Run at the end of January 2011.
In January 2009, BTFL collaborated with Special Olympics to bring a walking program to the residents of The Center. The residents and volunteers walked two days a week and finished the program by participating in the HBA Law Day 8K. The residents loved the t-shirts, the medals, and the feeling of accomplishment for having walked over five miles.
The walking program continues one night per week. Each walk starts and finishes with stretching and flexibility exercises. Some walks are substituted with a class of music and dancing to encourage freedom of movement.
In 2010, the residents will train again to walk the HBA Law Day 8K. The proceeds or that race benefit The Center.
Over 119 years, DePelchin Children’s Center has grown into Houston’s largest and most comprehensive provider of mental health, prevention and early intervention, foster care and adoption services at over 60 locations. DePelchin serves more than 20,000 children and family members annually through 30 dynamic programs. New this year, BTFL started a four-week pilot program at DePelchin. DePelchin requested separating the boys' and girls' sessions. The girls' group trained on Tuesday afternoon. The first week started with eight girls and grew to 20 by program end. The boys trained on Wednesday afternoon. The boys started with 15 and grew to 22. Both programs were extremely successful and DePelchin has asked BTFL to return in the fall to train the boys and girls for a community 5K event. Initial results from the BTFL Formulative Evaluation report indicated significant impacts on self-esteem, positive attitude, physical activity behavior, and commitment toward physical activity. BTFL will return in the fall and train the DePelchin kids for the Houston Conoco Rodeo Run.