More than 60 adults and children from all five school districts in Marion County attended the fourth annual Daddy Olympics Saturday at USD 408’s Sports and Aquatic Center in Marion.
Lori Soo Hoo, coordinator/ educator with Marion County Parents as Teachers, said the event is open to children ages birth to five years old.
“(Daddy Olympics) provides a great joint play experience for dads, grandpas, uncles and kids centered around the theme of sports,” Soo Hoo said.
In addition to creating fun memories, she said, organizers hope the event:
• encourages gross motor play in the home environment;
• allows families to experience the great community resource of the aquatic center;
• provides an avenue for some additional safety information, and
• connects dads to other dads in their communities.
The idea for Daddy Olympics, Soo Hoo said, began five years ago as the brainchild of a Marion County dad.
“Parents as Teachers then proposed the idea to the Kansas Health Foundation in a recognition grant application,” she said.
“Gratefully, we received funding from the Kansas Health Foundation for the first two years of the event.”
When the grant ended, Soo Hoo said other agencies pooled their resources together.
The agencies funding and hosting the event, she said, now include Marion County PAT, Marion County Head Start, Safe Kids with the Marion County Health Department and Families and Communities Together.
“We are also grateful to USD 408 for the use of the beautiful aquatic center,” Soo Hoo said. “Marion County is blessed to have such a phenomenal facility that is open to the public.”
The fifth annual Daddy Olympics is already in the works for March 2014, she said.
A sports board book, water bottle and bicycle helmet were given to everyone free who attended the event, she said.
For more information about the event or other PAT programs, call Soo Hoo at 620-947-4041 or stop by her office: 812 East A St., Hillsboro.