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Sunday , 11 April 2021

Dunk for Diabetes with former Toronto Raptor encourages kids to eat healthy

Former Toronto Raptor, Morris Peterson, poses with the Bonnyville Boys and Girls Club’s participants in Dunk for Diabetes Sunday evening at BCHS to help raise awareness about diabetes.

Dunk for Diabetes came to Bonnyville over the weekend.

Over the past six weeks, over 40 kids at the Bonnyville Boys & Girls Club (BBGC) have taken part in a one-hour scheduled program centred on healthy and active living. The programming included fundamental exercises aimed at instilling healthy habits.

Sponsored by Sun Life Financial, NBA Canada, and Boys and Girls Club of Canada, the Bonnyville club applied for the grant and got it, so the kids got to learn a few basketball skills with former Toronto Raptor, Morris Peterson.

“This is our first time at Boys and Girls Club of Bonnyville having it and I’m so happy we get to do this, and the kids just love it. That’s the big part for me. We hope to have it again next year,” said director Patty Cowden.

Each week, the participants of the BBGC completed weekly challenges and healthy habits to earn points for their club, encouraging physical activity and generating awareness surrounding type 2 diabetes prevention.

“They exercise in so many various sports, indoor, outdoor. They also get to cook healthy food, not just yucky food. Some kids say healthy and think yucky, and no it’s actually very yummy and how to make it, plus it’s affordable for the family.

“Also it’s how to replace artificial sugar. I think that’s the most important thing because kids are addicted to sugar so much these days, how can we get them to turn to natural sugars like fruits and vegetables,” said Cowden.

The former NBA first round pick, Morris Peterson, said the reason he got involved with the program is because his grandmother was diabetic.

“Early on I knew the importance of trying to eat the right foods, and sometimes with me, and my genetics, my mom used to say ‘make sure you’re making healthy choices because diabetes runs in our family.’ Some people don’t have anyone to tell them that, I was lucky too, so I want to bring awareness,” said Peterson.

He was happy to see the participation level in Bonnyville.

“Even though today, it’s really cold outside – nothing was going to stop them from getting here.”

About Michael Menzies

Menzies is the editor-at-large for Connected Media Inc. Born and raised in Vermilion, he started in May 2018 during his NAIT Radio and Television practicum and reports on local politics, sports, and community issues. He became the Bonnyville Pontiacs play-by-play voice during the 2019-20 season. He also comments on provincial and national issues. Menzies hosts Connected! Evening Monday-Thursday at 5 o’clock. He also likes to buy books and read some of them.