We had the opportunity to chat with Leader Eric Haynie of KIDS in the GAME for our first Gimme Five of 2015. With a business background and a keen interest in sports, Eric found that KIDS in the GAME was the perfect fit for his interests, passion and expertise. To connect with Eric, check out his with PreventObesity Leader profile here.
Name: Eric Haynie
Title: Program Manager
Organization: KIDS in the GAME
What inspired you to start working on childhood obesity?
I was looking for a career that would let me utilize my business and sports background and that would provide a little more meaning behind what I do. I found KIDS in the GAME and loved their mission, which aligned well with my ideals and interests.
How are you helping to reverse childhood obesity?
At KIDS in the GAME, we view sports as a fun and engaging way for kids to stay active. However, one of the biggest barriers to participating in sports these days is the cost of registration fees. We aim to eliminate financial barriers so that all kids have the opportunity to participate and live active, healthy lives.
What’s your biggest accomplishment so far in helping reduce childhood obesity?
My biggest accomplishment has been helping KIDS in the GAME build two new programs that increase physical activity in our youth. The first is our organization’s joint initiative with PHIT America that will provide grants to help create new school-based physical activity programs. The second is our direct-to-family program that assists youth from low-income backgrounds and those with developmental and environmental obstacles in paying registration fees for sports and fitness activities.
Who is your role model in your work?
I can’t say that I have a specific role model, but I am constantly inspired by the amount of people that are working in the same line of work as me. I’ve only been involved for about six months, but have learned about so many great people and organizations that truly care about getting the generation of our future leaders back to living healthy lives.
What game or sport did you play growing up?
Recreationally I played almost any sport I could, but competitively I chose to pursue basketball and golf.