Celtics and Sun Life wrap first fully virtual Fit to Win youth fitness program with Semi Ojeleye

BOSTON and WELLESLEY, Mass., April 1, 2021 — Sun Life and the Celtics have closed out another year of Fit to Win, a four-week fitness and health program for children from YMCA locations in Greater Boston, Hartford, and Southern Maine. Over the course of the program, kids from grades 3 through 6 engaged in new fitness and lifestyle activities each week and received prizes for their participation. This year, to reach more children and maintain safety amid the pandemic, the program shifted to an entirely virtual format. Participants were sent fitness kits for at-home workouts, and accessed a new exercise video online each week.

“Sun Life has been an incredible partner in bringing this great program to YMCA communities throughout New England,” said Ted Dalton, senior vice president of Corporate Partnerships and Business Development for the Boston Celtics. “We are thrilled we could transition to the virtual setting to continue reaching kids and making them feel enthusiastic about health and fitness.”

During the finale event yesterday, the kids were treated to an exclusive virtual tour of the Celtics’ practice facility, the Auerbach Center, and then heard from Celtics power-forward Semi Ojeleye, who talked about commitment to health and fitness. Throughout the four weeks of the program, the kids engaged in fitness routines, healthy habits (such as eating full servings of fruits and vegetables and limiting sugary beverages) and mindfulness (via breathing exercises and meditation), all while learning about overall wellness, fitness and nutrition.  Nearly 450 Sun Life employees took on the Fit to Win challenge as well, tracking their results and sharing their experiences with colleagues.

“We have fondly watched this program grow year after year, and it’s been wonderful to see how engaged and excited the kids get when they learn about health from their favorite athletes,” said Neil Haynes, CFO of Sun Life U.S. and board member of the YMCA of Greater Boston. “We are especially grateful to the Celtics organization for their dedication to this program and helping people live healthier lives.”

This year’s Fit to Win program featured a new component: two virtual nutrition workshops. The kids and their families were able to learn about healthy cooking on a budget and diabetes prevention, and were provided with grocery gift cards courtesy of the Celtics and Sun Life so they could buy ingredients to try the recipes at home.  The workshop attendees were joined by Celtics legend Leon Powe, who showcased his healthy cooking skills.

“The continued support from Sun Life and the Boston Celtics has helped grow so many YMCA programs for youth, adults, and families overall,” said James Morton, CEO of the YMCA of Greater Boston. “We are proud to be a place for local families to access health education and fitness programs, and are grateful to our community partners who help keep these programs going.”

For more information about the Fit to Win program, visit https://www.nba.com/celtics/video/community/fit-to-win-program-overview

Leave a Reply