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Laurene Weste: Live from City Hall

Posted: August 10, 2013 2:00 a.m.
Updated: August 10, 2013 2:00 a.m.

Good health for the mind and body dictates that everyone should get outside every day and enjoy a little play. Getting families moving and incorporating healthy food choices into everyday life is exactly what the fifth annual Youth Sports and Healthy Families Festival is designed to do.

On behalf of the Santa Clarita City Council, it is my pleasure to invite you to join hundreds of families on Saturday, Aug. 17, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. as the Santa Clarita Sports Complex is transformed into one of the most comprehensive playgrounds in the city.

The Youth Sports Festival offers the opportunity to run, catch, swing, dance, kick and climb at a variety of sports stations, while learning simple, fun ways to incorporate better food choices into family meals.

If you are looking for a fun way to expose your family to a new sport or are looking for inspiration as you try to decide "what’s next," you won’t want to miss this year’s event.

What to expect

The Youth Sports and Healthy Families Festival is free and all about getting families moving. Families aren’t one size fits all and the same is true of sports. In order to get moving, you have to be motivated; and that’s exactly what the festival is all about – getting families excited about the sport(s) that fits their style.

Play every day is part of this year’s theme, and kids of all ages are invited to try traditional sports like golf, basketball, soccer, football, tennis and volleyball, as well as less traditional activities like archery, scuba diving, snorkeling, and futsal, also known as indoor soccer. You’ll even be able to get back to basics and jump rope, play tetherball, enjoy a game of hopscotch, and even perfect your hula hoop skills.

In addition to these fun activities, the festival will also include a rock climbing wall, obstacle course, tricycle course, boxing, and quad bungee jumping for those who want to push the limits and try something a little more extreme. Attendees will also have the opportunity to play games and train with the interactive, electronic fitness and sports XerPro wall. Returning this year are the Los Angeles Kings, who will be on hand with a portable rink, while the JetHawks’ mascot KaBoom will help participants perfect their speed pitch.

A raffle will take place throughout the festival, giving participants a chance to win prizes including amusement park tickets, restaurant gift cards, and professional sports memorabilia. All proceeds from the raffle will benefit the city’s SCORE program, which provides recreation scholarships for youth.

The festival will also include a series of high energy demonstrations showcasing hoop dance, fencing, boxing and futsal, while local groups from Waller’s Gym, Gym Cheer, TK Tae Kwon Do, Ballet Folklorico, Star Dance, and Shin’s Family Martial Arts Center will perform for attendees.

Create your plate

New to this year’s Youth Sports Festival is the Healthy Families Experience presented by Kaiser Permanente. Here families will have the opportunity to select flavorful, fresh foods and then create a plate of snacks that provide the perfect amount of energy for active families. This area will also include a variety of activities for younger kids sponsored by My Gym, including face painting, running, jumping, hopping, skipping, throwing, kicking and catching games, as well as arts and crafts.

If you love sports and want to experience fun and healthy like never before, I hope you will join us at the fifth annual Youth Sports and Healthy Families Festival. The event is a great opportunity to enjoy an interactive, family-focused, healthy experience that’s fun for the kid in everyone.

For information about the Youth Sports and Healthy Families Festival, visit or call the city’s Youth Sports Office at 661-250-3756.

Volunteer opportunities are also available at the event. If you are interested in volunteering, please call 661-250-3708 or visit

Laurene Weste is a Santa Clarita City Council member and can be reached at


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