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ON BASE WITH BRAD HEWITT

Local baseball and softball trainer Brad Hewitt started BASES- Be a Super Example Student. Bill Bennett is the lead instructor for sessions conducted at C.L. Taitano Elementary, and Harry S. Truman Elementary.

By Michael Cruz

Local baseball and softball trainer Brad Hewitt started BASES- Be a Super Example Student. Bill Bennett is the lead instructor for sessions conducted at C.L. Taitano Elementary, and Harry S. Truman Elementary. 4th and 5th graders also learn about fitness, wellness, and health. The baseball and softball after school program emphasizes learning baseball and softball skills.

Hewitt is passionate about helping the youth become more active. Childhood obesity is a big issue on Guam. Physical education funding has scaled back not only in Guam, but all across the United States. Programs like this promote children to be active and not sedentary. Kids can adopt a healthy lifestyle with proper nutrition, physical activity, and positive lifestyle behaviors.

GSPN: How did this project come about?

BH: We started the program after a discussion at a NCD CONSORTIUM meeting where I became disappointed. We are doing two at each school. Program started by me because at a meeting I was disappointed that kids are using excuses why they can’t use existing programs outside of school. There are so many available! Then we got to discussing how there is no real PE in schools especially elementary schools. So I presented an idea to our NCD physical activity group (I’m a core member) of doing a pilot project to increase the level of activity in schools. I developed a program using “existing curriculum” and using baseball fundamentals the plan was developed. It’s designed not for baseball players but for those who are not exposed to activity and would normally sit at home doing nothing. Usually at a baseball game or academy there is a lot of non-activity. Not this program. It’s designed to provide some sort of movement activity for an entire hour using baseball. We started planning in November received the grant for the funding in December and finally started in March. It’s been a successful endeavor and more schools are planning for the summer session and into the fall of 2014 hopefully with all 26 elementary schools on board.

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Children of C.L. Taitano participating in the BASES program.(courtesy photo)

GSPN: What happens after the kids exercise?

BH: Each session ends with a teaching lesson lasting about 5-10 minutes on a wellness related topic which includes diabetes prevention, cancer prevention, obesity, harmful effects of tobacco, and diet/nutrition.

GSPN: Anyone you would like to thank?

BH: I’d like to thank Bill Bennett and Clint Mccormick for their efforts in leasing and assisting with the activities. Also like to thank (Guam Baseball Academy. Public Health and Social Services, Guam Comprehensive Cancer Care, Live Healthy Guam and Tobacco Free Guam.) who make this all possible through a combined grant.

PHOTO GALLERY

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(courtesy photo)

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(courtesy photo)

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(courtesy photo)

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