Gym Class Not Just For Kids

Thursday, April 19th 2007, 8:36 pm
By: News On 6

Elementary PE class stirs up memories of dodge ball, jumping rope or playing with that oversized beach ball, and it was a good way to burn energy and calories. News On 6 anchor Omar Villafranca reports one physical education teacher has started a new club so popular even parents are joining in for PE after school.

Jeramy Potts took up running a few months ago and decided to start a running club.

"I had no idea. I thought we'd have 15, 20 people you know? There's 148 signed up,” said Walt Disney Elementary teacher Jeramy Potts.

His running partners are now dozens of parents, teachers and his students. And more kids and their parents show up every week to join the club.

"I wanted my daughter to get involved, and she was like, ‘That's an old lady thing, mom running,’ but I don't like to run, so, it's fun with a lot of kids," parent Lucille Abbott said. "I think it helps get away from the computer and video games for a little bit. Even just a few minutes after school."

Mr. Potts charts the kids running so they can see how much ground they've covered. Five miles earns them a water bottle, 40 miles and they'll be running in a "members only" shirt.

Mr. Potts knows about the childhood obesity problem in Oklahoma. He hopes the kids will keep running when they're older and develop healthier habits.

"If something like a running club could catch on, because it is fun, and it's not sitting in a gym doing jumping jacks all day or whatever," said Potts.

While the kids burn off energy several parents have been burning off the pounds.

“I used to be a runner and I used to love to run all the time. My daughter said ‘Dad, you're overweight, you need to get back into it.' I said 'daughter, you're right," said parent Andrew Delaney.

Jeramy Potts runs the Disney Running Club with fellow teacher Danny Tracy. They hope other schools will start their own clubs.

For the eClip of this story, click here.