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City warms up for 2014 Youth Sports and Healthy Families Festival

Community

Posted: August 17, 2014 2:00 a.m.
Updated: August 17, 2014 2:00 a.m.

City of Santa Clarita / Courtesy photo

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Some of my favorite childhood memories involve sports – whether it was riding bikes to the corner store with the neighborhood kids or fitting in one last run around the baseball diamond against the setting summer sun.

These are common recollections for most parents, and the city of Santa Clarita offers countless youth sports activities to help make those same experiences available to our kids.

Families can sample several sports in one convenient place with the city of Santa Clarita’s free sixth annual Youth Sports and Healthy Families Festival on August 23 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the city’s Sports Complex.

This annual event attracts thousands of residents every year, providing the unique opportunity for kids to test out a new sport to see how they like it, at no cost to parents.

The festival will offer more than 20 exciting activities throughout the city’s Sports Complex’s 22 acres of facilities, including the Aquatic Center, Skate Park, gymnasium, sand volleyball courts, basketball courts and fields.

Attendees are also encouraged to bring their swimsuits to participate in cool aquatic activities, including snorkeling, stand-up paddle boarding, kayaking and inner tube water polo.

This year, the festival will be extended by two hours, giving families even more time to get active, learn healthy eating tips and find a new sport. The Healthy Families Experience, sponsored by Kaiser Permanente, will offer games and activities to show residents simple swaps to healthier eating and more active lives.

Kids can try their hand at classic sports like soccer, basketball, tennis, dance and cheer, as well as out-of-the-box activities like archery, SNAG golf, Futsal and hockey on Ice Station Valencia’s portable rink. Fencing will also be available for the first time this year, and the always-popular tricycle race course will be expanded with even more twists and turns.

The Lancaster JetHawks will also return with their Home Run Derby activity and team mascot, KaBoom.

The festival isn’t just about organized sports. It’s also meant to show families simple ways to stay active. A “Play Every Day!” area will offer familiar activities like tetherball, jump rope, hula hoop and hop scotch.

Attendees can get their extreme sports fix with a rock climbing wall and a quad bungee trampoline, or glimpse the future of sports with the innovative, interactive XerPro sports wall.

Santa Clarita is home to incredible sports organizations, and many of them will be on hand at the festival.

Action-packed demonstrations will be held throughout the day from Waller’s Gym, Hoop Dance, TK Tae Kwon Do, Hawaiian Dance, Gym Cheer, Star Dance and Shin’s Family Martial Arts Center. The city will also host demonstrations for its own popular programs, like boxing and Futsal.

An active lifestyle begins with a healthy diet, which is why the Healthy Families Experience is such a big part of the festival.

The 2014 Healthy Families Experience will include Whole Foods’ “Explore the Store!” and “Create Your Plate!” activities, offering free healthy snacks and tips on how to make healthier meals. A new “Healthy Families Grow” activity will show families how to cultivate their own organic produce at home.

The Healthy Families Experience will also include activities sponsored by My Gym for younger kids, including arts, crafts, face painting and simple games with running, jumping, hopping, skipping, throwing, kicking and catching.

Attendees at the festival can also enter a raffle to win great prizes, from amusement park tickets to pro sports memorabilia.

The best part? All proceeds from the raffle will benefit the city’s Score program, which helps fund recreation scholarships for community kids.

Residents can also make a difference by volunteering at the festival. To sign up or check out the many volunteer opportunities available, visit SantaClaritaVolunteers.com.

If you’re interested in making healthier eating choices, looking for easy ways to stay active or want to explore a new youth sports activity, I invite you to check out the free Youth Sports and Healthy Families Festival. To view the full event lineup and a map of the day’s activities, visit santa-clarita.com/youthsportsfestival.

Dante Acosta is a member of the Santa Clarita City Council and can be reached at dacosta@santa-clarita.com.

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