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Health, Sport, & Exercise Sciences department extends youth program options

Monday, March 07, 2016

LAWRENCE – The Department of Health, Sport, & Exercise Sciences at the University of Kansas has extended its offerings for physical activity and youth fitness programs in both the Lawrence and Overland Park communities.

Hawk Fitness Academy has become the department’s newest program offering children (ages 5-10) the opportunity to learn fun and safe exercise skills that can be used for a lifetime. With guidance from trained and knowledgeable instructors, child participants will perform skills that will build their confidence in exercise and will make it easier for them to continue exercise activities during pre-adolescence and into adulthood.

Hawk Fitness Academy has been designed to offer six-week sessions with various start dates throughout the year that combine both learning and performing skills that will improve a child’s strength, heart health and long-term quality of life.  

“It’s truly an exciting opportunity for us to provide an elite training program for the youth in our communities,” said Trent Herda, director of Hawk Fitness Academy. “Children from all ages, families and physical activity backgrounds can participate and benefit in a variety of ways.”

In addition to the new Hawk Fitness Academy, the faculty members within the Department of Health, Sport, & Exercise Sciences offer a variety of camp and community activities that allow community members to become and/or maintain physically active lifestyles:

  • Sports Skills & Fitness School (Lawrence), directed by Leon Greene;
  • Children’s Swim Camp (Lawrence), directed by Bernie Kish;
  • Dr. Bob Run 5K & Kids Fun Run Event (Lawrence), directed by Bernie Kish; and
  • Sports Skills & Physical Activity Camp (Overland Park), directed by Ashley Herda

“The university is built upon a mission that strives to build healthy communities, and our department’s work very much aligns with that mission,” said Joseph Weir, chair of the Health, Sport, & Exercise Sciences department at KU. “Hawk Fitness Academy enables families to engage their children in a learning environment focused on physical activity throughout the year.”

Interested individuals and families are encouraged to visit for dates, costs and other information for these programs and events.

The Department of Health, Sport, & Exercise Sciences is housed in the KU School of Education, a nationally ranked school that prepares educators and health/sport/exercise professionals as leaders.    

10th among public universities for its master’s and doctoral programs
—U.S. News & World Report
#1 public program in nation for special education
—U.S. News & World Report
Assists public schools and other partners in all 105 Kansas counties
$938,377 in scholarship funds awarded to 420+ students
Research expenditures of $36,804,773 for 2011-12
Research from KU’s largest grant, the $24.5 million SWIFT project, assists educators, children, and families across the United States
The award-winning special education faculty published 140 refereed articles, 11 books, and 60 chapters in 2015-16
Students with intellectual disabilities are participating in KU undergraduate programs through a grant-funded KU special education program
Researchers on a $3.5 million grant are collecting data on an innovative reading program designed to teach reading to students with the most significant disabilities in seven Kansas school districts
One of 34 U.S. public institutions in the prestigious Association of American Universities
44 nationally ranked graduate programs.
—U.S. News & World Report
Top 50 nationwide for size of library collection.
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