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Sunday, May 20, 2018
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Northwest YMCA runners target childhood obesity

TAMPA — The Northwest YMCA is taking the fight against childhood obesity to the next level — a step at a time.

Partnering with other YMCAs throughout Hillsborough County, the Northwest YMCA will help guide the second Leaders 5K run April 5 at Fort De Soto Park. Leadership representatives from many of the county’s YMCAs will take part.

Alonso High freshman Katie Fish is heading the Northwest YMCA’s team.

Northwest YMCA program director Marilyn Gyselinck is coordinating the program for her chapter, but she said that the kids have been the real impetus behind the project.

“The kids in the program are committed to do the 5K to set an example of how to battle the problems of childhood obesity,” Gyselinck said. “It’s an important thing that we are taking very seriously.”

The Leaders Club, which is sponsored by Gyselinck, consists of nine kids at the Northwest branch who are responsible for the work on-site when the race is ready to roll. Gyselinck, who said she intends to run the race, said that the event is not about winning, but about getting kids active and fit and to stress the fight against childhood obesity.

Since last year was the first time most of the Northwest runners ran this type of race, Gyselinck said that no one should be afraid to enter, whether they have run before or not. Efforts have been made to be sure that the run doesn’t conflict with any weekend training camps and sports this year.

For more on the Northwest YMCA Leaders 5K run, check www.tampaymca.org/leaders5k.

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