Annual conference helps physical education teachers promote healthy lifestyles for all children

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Health professionals will be learning more ways to keep their kids active, and ways to modify activities so all can enjoy.

Wednesday morning, a special convention kicked off on the Pittsburg State campus. It promotes healthy lifestyles across the state of Kansas, bringing more than 300 physical health professionals to the area.

“We have our 99th annual HHPR convention, a state convention for professionals in physical education, recreation, exercise science, and dance professionals across the state,” explained coordinator Cole Shewmake.

The three-day event kicked off with an archery certification course. The class, sponsored by the Kansas Parks, Wildlife, and Tourism Department, gave instructors the skills and safety tips to teach their own students.

“In order to use this equipment, to use this program, they must become certified through our program,’ said Joyce Ellis with the National Archery in Schools program. “We use standardized equipment, standardized safety techniques, so this is a certification so that they can teach this to their students.”

And as many physical education instructors work to make their activities inclusive, archery is definetly something all can enjoy.

“This program can be done by any student, 4th grade to senior in high school,” Ellis added. “One of the greatest features of this program is that students that have special needs have been very successful and things can be adapted.”

Which is one of the goals of this convention. Physical activity has been around for ages, but it is up to teachers to make it accessible for all.

“I always ask, ‘How can we adapt this, how can we modify this?'” said Shewmake.
“And really, all of these activities, a lot of them have been around for a while but there’s new ways of doing things and new ways to bring people in and make it more inclusive and kind of get more people involved. So that’s kind of the idea behind it. A lot of these sessions, we’ll be able to do that.”

Thursday, the event will continue with dance classes, yoga, and more instructional courses on how to make activities inclusive for every ability level.

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