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Frederick family olympics

Frederick, MD—In response to the public health crisis of rising childhood obesity across the nation and in our own Frederick county, the Diversity Leadership Institute (DLI), a local nonprofit organization dedicated to reducing disparities in healthcare and education, in partnership with the Frederick Memorial Hospital (FMH) and other local businesses and organizations, held the first annual Frederick Family Olympics on October 8, 2011 from 11:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. in Baker Park in Frederick, MD. 

The main goal of the annual Frederick Family Olympics is to increase awareness about the risk of childhood obesity for school-aged children.  The Olympics are DLI’s answer to the increasingly pervasive challenge of childhood obesity.  An incredible 1 of 3 children in the United States is considered overweight, with 17% of children considered obese.  In the past 20 years, the number of overweight children has doubled and the number of overweight adolescents has tripled, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.  A child’s risk of being overweight or obese is correlated with socioeconomic factors such as race and income. 

“We are in a time of crisis in childhood health,” said Jorge Naranjo, President of the Diversity Leadership Institute.  “We at DLI believe that childhood obesity is one of the greatest threats to the health and future success of our children, and our organization’s Olympics are the first crucial step towards building community awareness to combat this growing problem.” 

The Olympics, which were free and open to the public, welcomed over 200 attendees for a day of engaging sporting activities.  Throughout the day, FC Frederick ran soccer activities for all ages, including scrimmages, drills and other competitive activities.  The Olympics also featured a Zumbathon led by instructor Amanda Strand, a climbing wall by River Trail and demonstrations by Jhoon Rhee Black Belt Academy, the Mason-Dixon gymnastics team, Sitamun and Bahiya’s Middle Eastern Dance team and Urbana Dance Studio.   Frederick Memorial Hospital performed free blood pressure screenings and provided other useful health information, while a host of other local organizations and businesses promoted community health resources.  Among the distinguished guests was Kirk Wilborne, the USDA Food and Nutrition Services Mid-Atlantic Regional Outreach Coordinator.

“The Frederick Family Olympics brought together an unprecedented combination of local businesses and organizations who share DLI’s passion for creating a healthier, happier Frederick,” added Adriana Roa, the Diversity Leadership Institute’s Director of Health Programs.  “Effectively tackling childhood obesity can only be done by educating the public about healthier practices, and our Olympics are the first in a series of efforts by the Diversity Leadership Institute to do just that.”

Childhood obesity has a spectrum of harmful effects on the body. Obese children are more likely to have high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease, breathing problems, sleep apnea, joint discomfort and a host of other medical challenges.  DLI’s Frederick Family Olympics are geared toward addressing these issues and more, as a way to promote healthy lifestyles among our community’s residents.

Thanks to the support of its sponsors and co-organizers, the 1st Frederick Family Olympics were a great success!  DLI and FMH were proud to count the YMCA, Priority Partners in Health and River Trail as Gold Sponsors for this year’s event.



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