ND men's basketball teams up to fight childhood obesity

South Bend, Ind. Irish forward Tom Knight and the Notre Dame men’s basketball team partnered up with the Reduce Obesity Coalition Sunday to help battle the rising problem of childhood obesity.

Knight and his teammates took part in an ROC activity in the fall. They wanted to recreate the event on Notre Dame’s campus and thought the best time would be during the chilly South Bend winter.

“In the winter months, kids aren't as active as they are in the spring or fall,” Knight said. “So we thought it would be a good thing to help the community out so we thought it would be fun to invite people out here.”

About 200 kids registered for the event and there were plenty of drop-ins to enjoy the one-on-one guidance from the Irish athletes.

“I think the guys general want to hang out with the community,” said Knight, who didn’t mind giving up his Sunday for the event. “They thought this would be a fun way to reach out and have fun with a lot of people so you know -- not be too serious.“

Penn High School alum Austin Torres also had a vested interest in helping out the community he grew up in.

“It feels really good,” Torres said. “I actually never got to do anything like this when I was a kid but it’s good to see all these kids out here enjoying their time.”

Kids also got a chance to learn about indoor fitness beyond the traditional sports. The local Jazzercise studio came out to show kids how to get a great work out by moving to the music.

“We have what’s called junior jazzercise,” said Stephanie Felicetti, former Notre Dame softball player and part-time jazzercise instructor. “There is a very young group and a middle teenage group. It's a lot of fun and a great way to exercise, especially during these winter months.”

Torres, who is a freshman, said he would be interested in making the event a tradition in the coming years.

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