Although it’s possible to become a runner at any age, starting at an early age may be the best. Would-be athletes can get a fun introduction to running and being active Saturday at College of the Mainland hosts a free Family Fitness Day starting at noon.

Family Fitness Day is the brainchild of six students in one of COM’s psychology for success classes.

“In each class, students get in groups of six to develop a project that revolves around ‘paying it forward.’ It can be something for the community, for the earth, or whatever issue they feel passionate about,” psychology instructor Stacey Henderson explained. “For one group of students, the issue was childhood obesity, so they planned Family Fitness Day as a way to bring healthy activities to kids in the community.”

Children of all ages are welcome at Family Fitness Day, where the activities will include running relay races and obstacles, frisbee games and a jump rope challenge. There will also be a personal trainer there to give the kids guidance on the proper form for exercising, so that the event will be safe as well as fun for the participants.

“Childhood obesity is a major issue in American culture, and so our group decided to focus on ways to prevent it, through education and examples,” student Timothy Williams, one of the organizers of Family Fun Day, explained. “I have kids myself, and I want the best for them, especially for their health.”

Family Fitness Day will take place on the playing fields south of College of the mainland’s academic buildings, just off Amburn Road. In addition to fun and games, healthy snack will be available.

“Nutrition and exercise are both important in the fight against childhood obesity, so we’re making sure they learn some nutrition information as well,” Williams said. “We encourage kids of all ages to come out to Family Fitness Day to get informed, enjoy the activities, and just have fun.”

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