HUNTERSVILLE – Mayor Jill Swain wanted to find a way to promote good health among residents in December.
The idea Swain and town staff came up with led to Healthy Huntersville, an initiative focused on community-based health programs and activities that promote a healthy lifestyle.
Businesses including Earth Fare and Huntersville Family Fitness and Aquatics, supported the cause from the beginning, Swain said.
“I just think it’s necessary,” she said. “I kind of started the discussion, and it took off from there.”
Josh Brock, the athletic coordinator for the parks and recreation department, said the department has a monthly calendar with a listing of free programs in which people can participate.
Programs are tailored for preschoolers to seniors. HFFA hosted a Firecracker 5K and a 100-yard SuperSoaker Dash for kids July 6, in which Swain took part.
Swain said her goal is for the initiative to have a major influence on the health of area children.
“I hope we’ll see more and more kids making smart choices with regard to their health,” she said.
“This gives them an opportunity. It brings it front and center to teach them about healthy choices. Hopefully we’ll be able to show everyone in Huntersville they have these kinds of options.”
The initiative is expected to continue to expand, Brock said.
“It’s still very new and defining itself,” he said. “Once people find out about the opportunities this initiative offers them and that the majority of them are free, then I definitely think it will take off. It will be awesome to see the community striving as a collective group to be healthier.”
Brock said Charlotte ranks as the 11th-most sedentary city in the country, making the initiative all the more important.
“With childhood obesity becoming a huge problem, a program like this can offer a lot,” he said.
“(It gives) residents the tools they need to be health-conscious and it’s something that needs to happen. If our community takes advantage of this initiative, I think lifestyles can change for the better.”
Want to learn more?
Visit www.facebook.com/HealthyHuntersville or call Huntersville Parks and Recreation at 704-766-2220 for a list of upcoming Healthy Huntersville programs.