The Urban Youth Athletic Challenge, a kid-friendly version of Spartan Race or Tough Mudder Races, is making its debut in Hudson County. Powered by Play Fitness Performance, the event will take place on Saturday, May 10, from 8 a.m. to noon at Liberty State Park in Jersey City.
Ashley Ntansah, a certified youth fitness specialist and founder of Play Fitness Performance at the Monroe Center in Hoboken, was inspired to create the Urban Youth Athletic Challenge through his work at the Play Fitness Performance studio. He organizes after school races, sports conditioning drills, and soccer and football games to infuse a love of exercise into children at an early age.
Ntansah believes it is important to associate fun with exercise, but he noticed that most obstacle course races such as the Tough Mudder had a minimum age requirement of 18. Working with kids on a daily basis and being a father of two himself, Ntansah saw a thirst among children for this type of challenge that he felt compelled to satisfy.
Ntansah asked himself, “Why not kids if we can create an environment safe for them?” That was when the idea for the Urban Youth Athletic Challenge was born.
The best part about the challenge is that any kid from 6 to 18 years old can register whether they are a star athlete or not. The length of the course will vary with each age group. Six to 8 year olds will complete a one-mile course, 9 to 11 year olds will do a 1.6 mile course, and so on. Ntansah hopes that this “exercise in disguise” type event will encourage children to create similar obstacle courses and games at their own homes over the summer. His priority is to get kids outside and moving.
“We want kids to feel a sense of adventure, a bit of struggle and then the emotional connection to finishing something physical, especially in front of their families, friends and spectators,” Ntansah writes on the event’s website.
A single ticket is $40 and team tickets are $30, with a portion of the proceeds benefiting the
The goal is to have between 200 and 300 kids show up for the event and eventually expand to having multiple events per year in different counties.
To learn more about the event, visit here.