WNBA, Jamba Juice, Target Childhood ObesitySeptember 13, 2012
SANTA MONICA, Calif. – WNBA great Alana Beard of the Los Angeles Sparks took part along with Jamba Juice in a league-sponsored event at the Boys and Girls Club of Santa Monica Wednesday afternoon, intended to draw attention to the ongoing issue of obesity among young people.
The event was co-sponsored by Jamba Juice, who donated 90 basketballs to seven community centers to go with the 24 balls donated by the WNBA to the Santa Monica Balls & Girls Club. Kids also received Jamba Juice and 'Live Fruitfully' headbands.
SPM had an opportunity to speak with the four-time all-star about what she and the WNBA hoped to accomplish with their efforts.
SPM: What does a professional athlete have to offer a bunch of kids on the subject of fitness?
AB: What can’t we offer them? It’s our life; it’s what we live. As professional athletes, it’s our goal to maintain our bodies, stay active and stay healthy. So anytime we can give advice to kids at this age… it’s a great resource for them. I didn’t have it growing up and if I’d had it or if I were one of these kids now I would want to take advantage of it.
SPM: Why is it important to grab kids at this age and make them aware of the issue of childhood obesity and obesity in general?
AB: At this age kids are very impressionable; they’re kind of like sponges. Anything you teach them or tell them at this age they’ll remember. Hopefully, in us giving information to kids about being active and staying healthy we can get through to the parents. Hopefully the kids take this information back home and give it to the parents and as a household, as a collective group, they can start living a healthier and happier lifestyle.
SPM: A professional athlete like Alana Beard is kind of a role model in that, as a kid, obviously, going through junior high, high school, and college, you didn’t get sidetracked. What do you have to say to kids who are at an age where they could so easily be sidetracked by temptations in their lives?
AB: You know what’s interesting is that when I was a kid I took everything that my coaches or people with information would tell me and I soaked it up. I was very disciplined. As a kid who’s trying to obtain the goal of being a professional athlete you have to stay very disciplined in what you do. Whether it’s basketball, whether it’s eating healthy, or whether it’s your school work, you have to stay disciplined in order to get to that next level.
SPM: Do you think that message of discipline is transferable to kids trying to get through life without becoming obese?
AB: I think it’s very transferable. As long as you have the knowledge, knowledge is wealth. So as a kid, if you know this information, you can use it and you can apply it in your life. The important thing is for me, Jamba Juice and the WNBA, to continue to get this information out to kids and hopefully they can use it and move towards a more healthy life.
NOTE: Here is a link to many more and larger resolution images from this great event at 50lux.com