Ms. Emma Apatu, a doctoral student in the Community Health Program at East Tennessee State University College of Public Health has received funding from Youth Service America to offer free soccer programs in the local community. In partnership with the Boys and Girls Club of Johnson City/Washington County, Ms. Apatu received funding for a program known as Stopping Obesity in Children through Creative Education and Reinforcement (SOCCER).
The SOCCER program is designed to promote healthy lifestyle behaviors though the collaborative involvement among local youth. Student athletes from East Tennessee women’s soccer program teach children soccer skills and expose the group to healthy snacks and food education.
“The aim of the SOCCER program is to use soccer as a vehicle to promote healthy lifestyle behaviors,” said Ms. Apatu.
In addition to the members of the women’s soccer team, undergraduate students from the College of Public Health will provide program support and sustainability.
“The soccer clinics will include an active component where participants will engage in soccer drills and scrimmages. At the conclusion of each clinic, participants will be provided with healthy snacks and food education. The program will culminate on Global Youth Service Day (April 20-22), during which participants and youth volunteers will plant a healthy vegetable garden at the Boys and Girls Club facility,” said Ms. Apatu.
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[Photo: Ms. Emma Apatu]