Exercising Your Character: Speakers provide motivation along with the fun
A college coach, a 13-year-old triathlete, a former NBA star and an NFL kicker shared inspirational messages with 7,000 students at the sixth annual Exercising Your Character event, held today at Hy-Vee Hall in Des Moines.
Exercising Your Character is a celebration of physical fitness, good character and sportsmanship. Fourth- and fifth-grade classes from schools throughout central Iowa are invited to take part in a fast-paced program that includes music, dancing and appearances by famous athletes and coaches. The event is sponsored by Character Counts of Iowa, the Iowa Sports Foundation and Hy-Vee.
Speakers at this year’s EYC were Paul Rhoads, head football coach at Iowa State University; Winter Vinecki, two-time national IronKids champion who started a foundation to raise money to fight prostate cancer; B.J. Armstrong, former University of Iowa basketball star who helped the Chicago Bulls to three consecutive NBA titles; and Billy Cundiff, an Iowa native and Drake University star who is the placekicker for the Baltimore Ravens. The students also enjoyed learning the famous UNI Interlude Dance, as taught by co-creators Ian Goldsmith and Scott Connerly.
If the noise level in Hy-Vee Hall is any indication of the quality of the program, I’d say this year’s Exercising Your Character deserves a grade of A+. Stay tuned for more on today’s speakers and their messages to the students.