Get Fit Selma prepares for fifth annual Health and Fitness Festival

Published 8:31 pm Tuesday, August 29, 2017

The fifth annual Health and Fitness Festival will be held at Wallace Community College Selma on Saturday, Sept. 16.

The festival will be focused on educating and promoting a healthy and active lifestyle in the Selma community. The theme for 2017 is “Defeat Diabetes”!

“We wanted to do a health and wellness program for the community,” Get Fit Selma chairperson Stephanie Hamm said. “We keep trying to make it bigger and better.”

Get Fit Selma 2017 is a collaborative initiative of Taylor Internal Medicine, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc. and McRae-Gaines Learning Center focusing on diabetes in the Black Belt.

The day will begin with a 5K run/walk and one-mile fun run/walk at 8a.m. led by the 2017 Dixie World Series Champion 15U Selma all-star baseball team.

Registration for the 5K run/walk is available on-line, at the learning center and on-site the morning of the race at 6 a.m.

It costs $25 per adult and $15 per junior participant in the 5K. The fun run only costs $10 and $7 respectively.

The most important part of the day will start at 9 a.m. when the volunteer doctors, nurses and technicians will be available to provide free health screenings.

They will be checking blood pressure, blood sugars, vision and dental.

At 10 a.m. a panel discussion will feature Dr. Bruce Taylor, Evelyn Evans, Cassandra Ford, Tomeka McPhillips and Leroy Maxwell to discuss the health issues related to diabetes.

While the panel discussion is going on, partners such as the Selma Fire Department, Care Ambulance, the Red Cross and Concordia Men’s Soccer will provide activities for the children to keep them moving throughout the day.

The festival will also have a variety of doctors, community organizers and medical professionals at the Health Educator and Vendor Fair.

There will be demonstrations and presentations on healthy eating and exercise that participants will be able to sample.

“As hard as Selmians work, fitting in an hour for exercise is sometimes a real luxury,” Hamm said. “But if they see how much fun it is, they find out that the schedules from the Y to any of the other fitness centers can be flexible and they start to budget that into their wellness schedules for themselves.”

In the afternoon, the B.O.S.S. Youth League students will lead exercises and run scrimmage games open to the public from 1:30-3:30 p.m. at the School of Discovery gym.

“We are trying to develop students into healthy leaders and entrepreneurs, so Get Fit Selma fits into what we’re trying to do by promoting health and getting people to exercise,” B.O.S.S. co-founder Querline Moore said. “This is a great partnership, and I look forward to it.”

Last year the festival’s turnout was dampened by the rain, but Hamm is optimistic that Selmians will come out and get active.

Even though admission is free, donations of canned goods will be collected for the Selma Area Food Bank.

“We are pushing for a blowout turnout,” Hamm said. “Last year our numbers were down, but we’re hoping to get up to 300 again.”