By: Christy Smith | Category: Health & Fitness | Issue: August 2009
Lacy Ragland created the Gear Up and Get Fit Claremore campaign, encouraging locals to increase their physical activity levels and nutritional knowledge.
It is no secret that the majority of Americans does not get enough physical activity or follow a very healthy diet, and as a result suffer from extra weight. Many children today spend twice as much time playing video games than being physically active, and studies have shown that lack of exercise and poor nutritional habits contribute not only to obesity, but to a reduction in motivation and attentiveness as well. Wife and mother Lacy Ragland of Claremore is aware of these disturbing facts, and she has tackled the problem in her own community by creating the “Gear Up and Get Fit Claremore” campaign.
Gear Up and Get Fit Claremore is a wellness program designed specifically for the community. This campaign, according to Lacy, will encourage physical activity, personal nutritional knowledge, community involvement, and healthy competition.
“Rogers County has an adult obesity rate of approximately 22 percent and a childhood obesity rate of approximately 32 percent, which is the highest in the state of Oklahoma,” says Lacy. “Gear Up and Get Fit Claremore is dedicated to creating a change in these statistics.”
The campaign has quickly been embraced by the community, and has already been endorsed by the City of Claremore, who is allowing free access to city parks and facilities for events hosted by the program. It will be funded by sponsors, donations, and entry fees from participants. Success starts with community leaders and local businesses getting involved. “Organizations such as the Optimist Club and the City of Claremore, individuals such as Stratton Taylor, and businesses such as Claremore Chiropractic and Bike About have already stepped up to the plate to make this a grand slam program,” says Lacy.
August will bring the Gear Up and Get Fit campaign’s first of the year’s 12 major events, appropriately named “Fill the Park.” The event will take place Saturday, August 22 at Claremore Lake Park and will feature water games, inflatables, volleyball, a children’s fishing derby, weigh-ins, and sign-ups for a year-long weight loss challenge. This challenge is one of the key points of Gear Up and Get Fit, and people can form teams or compete as individuals. At Fill the Park, attendees may register for the competition, which will culminate in a grand prize of $5,000 to be given in July, 2010.
Other proposed events throughout the year include a dodgeball tournament, a ballroom dancing gala, Super Kids’ Day, Freedom Festival, a three-on-three basketball tournament, nutrition seminars and much more. Individuals and teams pay a fee to take part in the campaign and receive a list of scheduled events and T-shirts. Everyone is allowed to choose the events they would like to enter, and each person receives 10 points per event in which they participate. At the end of the campaign year, the team or individual with the most accumulated points wins the competition and claims the grand prize.
One of the goals Lacy hopes to achieve is to turn the year-long campaign into an annual event. Assistance from health professionals in the community has already been quickly offered, and it is not unlikely that Gear Up and Get Fit could become a sensation across the state.
“Friends and family have been very supportive,” says Lacy. “My family is the main reason I was so motivated to move forward on this project; our reward is that we are more active together. I have been very gratified at the reaction and overwhelming support we have received from the community.”
Registration is available online at www.getfitclaremore.com, or can be mailed to P.O. Box 2966, Claremore, OK 74018. For more information about Gear Up and Get Fit, contact Lacy Ragland at (918) 381-8217 or email eat0@eau0eav0eaw0.