UnitedHealthcare, Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation help North Carolina youth stay active

When kids are given the chance for outdoor activity, the last thing they want to do is spend time clearing the field in order to do so.

However, that was the case at the Boys & Girls Club of Cabarrus County, a growing club just outside of Charlotte with an active staff and engaged kids. Since most sports programs are held outside, and there is little onsite or nearby storage available, a great deal of time was wasted simply transporting sports equipment back and forth.

To help address this issue, UnitedHealthcare volunteers built a 12-by-24-foot storage shed next to the field, filled with brand new sports equipment, as part of a partnership with the Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation.

During the event, volunteers also talked with the middle schoolers about the importance of an active and healthy lifestyle, hosted a multi-sport clinic and served a healthy meal for club members.

“We want to make sure that the kids have the opportunity to get out, get excited, get active and get healthy,” said Chris Rubright, programs director for the Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation. “This is incredible because the whole idea is that we are a lot stronger as a team, bringing our resources together and really identify how best we can work together.”

The afternoon build was part of the fourth stop on the foundation’s Team8 Tour, a national campaign aimed at building healthy communities.

“We love being a part of the fabric of the local community and are excited to help with this project that so closely ties to our mission of helping our communities get and stay healthy,” said Corinna Miller, director of community engagement for the UnitedHealthcare Community Plan of North Carolina. “Partnering with the Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation to support the club in its effort to be a safe environment for local children and a resource for the community by providing activities and after-school programs is an honor.”

Only 24 percent of children between the ages of 6 to 17 participate in the recommended amount of physical activity every day, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Over the past four years, the Team8 Tour has impacted nearly 50,000 youth and donated more than $1.5 million to projects promoting healthy and active lifestyles.

“We are teaching kids the importance of community involvement while letting them benefit from what the Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation and UnitedHealthcare services will do for the communities in which they serve,” said Valerie Melton, executive director of the Boys & Girls Club of Cabarrus County. “Hopefully the kids will carry on their willingness to serve, because that’s one of the main things we want to do in the Boys & Girls Club. We want to instill community involvement and a strong sense of character.”

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