By Betty Gandee

A group of students from Big Otter Elementary will travel to California in May to compete in the Fittest School in America Challenge. Photo by Shannon Metheny.

The students at Big Otter is making big strides when it comes to their fitness.

In January several students started staying after school to work on their cardio fitness, and to learn more about nutrition. On March 22, these students visited the state capital to compete in Fittest School Challenge.  Big Otter had two teams to compete that day, and took home second and third place wins. After the competition, Director Tony Lamka contacted Mrs. Klemans to inform her that the first place team that was invited to nationals couldn’t attend, and therefore Big Otter was now invited to attend.  After a meeting with school officials and parents, and getting school board approval for the trip, Big Otter accepted this challenge.

This is the only school in West Virginia that will have ever competed in this competition, as well as the only school on the East coast. The participating students have continued to work after school for an extra thirty minutes a day during their walk to class to prepare for this fitness task. To say these kids are “pumped” is an understatement.  They are ready to show the world that they have what it takes to be recognized as the Fittest School in America.

Big Otter’s group will travel to Hermosa Beach, CA from May 22-24 to show what West Virginia students are made of.  The students at Big Otter care about their health and well being and want to show the whole county that they are taking action in making more educated choices when it comes to their nutrition and physical fitness.  This is a high honor for Clay County, which ranks highly in obesity, diabetes, and heart disease. Look for ways to help this group of young people prepare for their trip in the near future from Big Otter Elementary.