Dr. Kate Heelan
Building Healthy Families program co-director, 308

UNK- The University of Nebraska at Kearney will host more than 1,750 Kearney Public School students, teachers and family members for a morning of physical activity on Saturday, April 24, according to Dr. Kate Heelan, UNK professor of health, physical education and recreation.

“This is a KPS sponsored event that is being held in collaboration with UNK to encourage families to get active together,” Dr. Heelan said.

The event begins at 8:45 a.m. at the UNK Foster Field. At 9:45 a.m., schools with the largest percentage of students and staff participating will be recognized and receive monetary awards, according to Dr. Heelan.

Participants can choose between a one mile or a 5K walk/run. Nine elementary schools have more than 10 percent of their school population participating with three schools already over the 30 percent participation level. Every child over the age of four who walks or runs will receive a medal for finishing, and all participants will receive a t-shirt. The event is free to KPS families.

Last year was the first time for the event, which is titled PATH, which stands for Physically Active Together for Health. In all, there were 1,100 registered to participate the first year. This year, in addition to the 1,750 registered participants, there will be 50 volunteers assisting.

“It is a great opportunity for families to take a walk or run together,” Dr. Heelan said. “They bring their strollers, and the entire family spends some time together and feels good about being active. It’s exciting the event has grown so much in just its second year.”

“After a successful first year, the word spread throughout the district about this great opportunity for family-based physical activity,” said Erin Holt, event coordinator and a member of the UNK health, physical education and recreation department.

Cari Franzen, KPS Wellness coordinator, indicated that the PATH event “…is a great opportunity for kids of all ages to build their confidence in being successful at a physical activity–the smiles when they come through the finish line and receive the medal is worth everything.”