KentuckyOne Health signs on as Presenting Sponsor of Kids Finish First
Louisville, Ky. – September 18, 2013 – The Louisville Sports Commission and the YMCA of Greater Louisville announced today that KentuckyOne Health has signed on as the presenting sponsor of the Kids Finish First program.
The program was launched in 2012 as a pilot project to encourage local children between the ages of five and 14 to take steps toward an active lifestyle by training to complete a half marathon – 13.1 miles – in small increments. The program’s first-year success resulted in an interest to expand it to additional YMCA after-school program locations. It is being offered at two community health centers as a new pilot project in 2013 to determine how Kids Finish First can connect with children outside of the YMCA program.
The 2013 Kids Finish First program will kick off on Saturday, Sept. 21 at the Louisville pure tap® 5K, which is being held at the historic Water Tower. The youth will have the opportunity to start their training at the 5K’s start line. They will finish their training on Nov. 10 at the Louisville Sports Commission Half Marathon presented by HumanaVitality where they will once again cross the race’s finish line along with the other half marathon runners.
“When we created the program last year, our goal was to encourage children to complete 12 miles of walking or running over a span of several weeks, then complete the final 1.1 miles on the Louisville Sports Commission’s half marathon course,” said Steve Tarver, president of the YMCA of Greater Louisville. “We saw kids, and their families, enthusiastically embrace the program. They were able to experience all the excitement of running a half marathon – competing on a real course, having people cheer them on, crossing the finish line and receiving a finisher’s medal. To see interest from our after-school programs increase nearly 200 percent in 2013 is astounding.”
In 2012, more than 100 youth from 10 of the YMCA’s Louisville branches joined together in this training program. It is anticipated that nearly 300 will take part this year.
"KentuckyOne Health is committed to improving the health outcomes of the communities we serve and Kids Finish First is a perfect way to achieve that goal," said Alice Bridges, vice president of Healthy Communities. "Through outreach, education and collaborations like this, we are promoting active lifestyles and physical activity. This program is particularly important because it is focused on youth who represent the future of our state."
“What we’re seeing today is a shared commitment among the YMCA, KentuckyOne Health and the Sports Commission to promote healthy lifestyles and improve the quality of life for community members of all ages,” said Karl Schmitt, executive director of the Louisville Sports Commission. “Last year, we were hopeful that offering a program that encourages lifestyle changes would be successful. Based on the interest we’re seeing to increase training sites this year, we were correct. With KentuckyOne’s involvement, we can expand the program beyond the original YMCA after-school sites, which will benefit kids throughout Louisville.”
About Louisville Sports Commission
The Louisville Sports Commission (LSC) is a Louisville, Kentucky-based 501(c)(3) organization whose mission is to create a legacy of economic and social vitality through sports. LSC attracts and hosts sporting events and activities that have a positive economic impact on Louisville, enhance the area’s image as a premier sports destination, promote healthy lifestyles and improve the quality of life for community members of all ages. More information is available online at www.louisvillesports.org and www.facebook.com/louisvillesportscommission.
About The Louisville Area YMCAs
The Y is the nation’s leading nonprofit committed to strengthening communities through youth development, healthy living and social responsibility. The YMCA has been listening and responding to the needs of our communities for nearly 160 years and is dedicated to building healthy, confident, connected and secure children, adults, families and communities.
About KentuckyOne Health
KentuckyOne Health was formed when two major Kentucky health care organizations came together in early 2012. KentuckyOne Health combines the Jewish and Catholic heritages of the two former systems - Jewish Hospital & St. Mary's HealthCare and Saint Joseph Health System. In late 2012, the organization formed a partnership with the University of Louisville Hospital | James Graham Brown Cancer Center. The nonprofit system is committed to improving the health of Kentuckians by integrating medical research, education, technology and health care services wherever patients receive care. KentuckyOne Health has more than 200 locations including hospitals, physician groups, clinics, primary care centers, specialty institutes and home health agencies, with nearly 15,000 employees across the state of Kentucky and southern Indiana. KentuckyOne Health is the largest health system in Kentucky.