Instead of canceling, they joined the virtual world.
It's where hundreds of city kids would go for instructed workouts every Monday and Wednesday, so the "City Track" and "Little Feet" program started offering programs online, shortly after the closure.
"We invited some of the coaches to do a live session, we had a few participants, but we thought that there was something there, and we've slowly seen the program grow in the number of users and kids," said Alberto Aquino, Director of Youth Programming, The Armory. "We kept pushing it, we text parents, we call them, we sent them emails, we got some professional athletes to make promo videos inviting the kids."
With the growth of the virtual program came the addition of new coaches, including Olympians Natasha Hastings, Ajee Wilson and Joe Kovacs.
"We have Olympians, we have gold medalists, we have world champions that want to work out with the kids," Aquino said. "They say that they're not doing much, just like all of us they're trying to find a good home work out and be as effective with their time as possible."
Aquino and the staff at The Armory knew that shifting to virtual workouts could create obstacles for some kids who do not have access to devices or WiFi. They are working with those who need assistance.
"We at The Armory had some laptops, we heard that Spectrum was giving out WiFi for a lot of the families, so we've been connecting our students with all of the right places," Aquino said.
Ultimately this is about giving parents a break from trying to teach a PE class at home, keeping the kids fit and engaged while having fun.
"For 30 minutes twice a week we are offering to our families for us to work out with them, and who better to work out with them than some of the greatest athletes in the world," Aquino said.
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