NASCAR Cup Series driver Daniel Suarez, NASCAR Xfinity Series driver Austin Cindric and NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series driver Natalie Decker challenged the kids with Greater Joliet Area YMCA to join them in The NASCAR Foundation’s Step Challenge. The children were divided into three teams: Team Chevrolet, Team Ford and Team Toyota. For two weeks, the children, with the help from their instructors, have been tracking their steps every day. At the end of the two weeks, a winning team will be decided based off the team’s total number of steps.
To get them excited and ready for the challenge, the drivers shared inspirational words with the kids. Daniel encouraged Team Toyota to “start your engines,” Austin urged Team Ford to “gear up and put on their pedometer watch” and Natalie cheered on Team Chevrolet to “get to the finish line!”
As the kids received their pedometer watches, they were thrilled to start tracking their steps. “The first day the children received their pedometers, it was funny to see that many were running in circles or doing laps around their play areas to see how fast they could increase their steps,” shared Shannon. “Each day of the challenge, different children would run up to me to show me the steps they’d achieved for the day.”
By implementing the step challenge, The NASCAR Foundation aims to create healthy habits for the children we serve, which has already proven to work for the kids at Greater Joliet Area YMCA. “It has made them more active without them thinking about it,” said Shannon.
From warm up exercises to challenging kids to get as many steps as possible, Daniel, Austin and Natalie motivated our kids to get moving and win the race to living a healthy lifestyle!