Ten-year-old Parkcrest elementary student Daniel Turvey is looking forward to working on his basketball moves.
“I love playing basketball,” Turvey told KTW, noting he hopes to improve his jump shot.
Turvey and more than 60 other youth from the Kamloops Boys and Girls Club are in the midst of a six-week commitment to healthy eating and exercise in this year’s Dunk for Diabetes program.
It is an annual initiative from Sun Life and the Toronto Raptors that is being held in Kamloops for the first time.
Only a select number of the more than 100 clubs across Canada are chosen to take part in the program, which is focused on preventing type 2 diabetes and teaching kids healthy habits through basketball-inspired fitness challenges and nutrition education.
“Once we heard that we got it [the program], we were just so excited,” said Traci Anderson, executive director of the Kamloops Boys and Girls Club.
At the recent kickoff event at the John Tod Centre on the North Shore, a group of Kamloops Boys and Girls Club members signed player “contracts” — just like NBA pros — only these contracts confirmed their commitment to Dunk for Diabetes initiative.
Each week, participants meet up at the centre to track their progress and have the chance to win prizes by earning points based on the number of challenges they complete.
They also learn about nutrition and type 2 diabetes and watch videos from Toronto Raptors Fed VanVleet and Pascal Siakam.
Anderson said participating in the program is a great fit for the club as it provides food programs around town.
“We want our kids to understand what they’re eating, why they’re eating it, what to avoid to eat,” Anderson said.
Dunk for Diabetes will wrap up with a celebration for the kids who accumulate the most points following the six-week challenge.