Summerland Middle School students take part in a Zumba session during the hearts@school event in Penticton on Tuesday. From left are Calista Stafford

Healthy lifestyle promoted

It was a celebration of fitness and health as Grade 6 students participated in the 11th annual hearts@school event.

It was a celebration of fitness and health as Grade 6 students from Summerland and Penticton participated in the 11th annual hearts@school event on Tuesday.

The event, at the Penticton Trade and Convention Centre, drew 430 Grade 6 students.

Melissa Stathers, one of the organizers of the event, said the purpose was to provide students with better knowledge and understanding of health and to teach them how to achieve a healthier lifestyle.

Throughout the day, the students stopped at education stations for information about the health risks from smoking, how to eat nutritiously, sun safety and the importance of physical activity.

There were also activity stations including hip hop, jazz and belly dancing, yoga, zumba, gymnastics, golf, tae kwon do, judo jiu-jitsu, first aid, skipping and more.

Stathers said it is important for students to develop healthy habits early on rather than to correct poor habits later in life.

“Part of this is encouraging kids to develop these habits at a young age,” she said.

“We’re trying to show the kids being active can be fun.”

Around 100 volunteers from the community and high school students were involved in the event.