Family Fitness Night Image

Ochoa, Cato promote healthy, active lifestyle for area youth

Sounders FC and SUBWAY® Restaurants of Western Washington hosted a Family Fitness Night at Bellevue Boys and Girls Club.

On Tuesday, August 14 Seattle Sounders FC, SUBWAY® Restaurants of Western Washington, and Bellevue area families came together at the Bellevue Boys and Girls Club for a two-hour, health and fitness-focused family event that featured Sounders FC forward Sammy Ochoa and midfielder Cordell Cato. 

Several children and their families were able to enjoy dinner together provided by SUBWAY® Restaurants as a crowd of nearly 300 individuals met with Ochoa and Cato, who signed autographs, took photographs, answered questions, and stressed the importance of nutrition and maintaining a healthy and active lifestyle.

“My mom always used to tell me, ‘The more color on your plate, the better’,” said Ochoa. “It’s really important to eat your fruits, eat your vegetables, and make sure you get exercise – at least 30 minutes every day. It doesn’t matter what you do, as long as you’re running, jumping, swimming, and just being active – it will go a long way toward maintaining your health.”

Cato took a more forthright approach when relaying his message to the children of the Bellevue Boys and Girls Club.

“To be honest, I love candy,” said Cato as the children’s ears perked up. “Everybody loves candy. But you don’t ever want to eat too much of anything – and that includes eating candy. The more you develop healthy eating habits when you’re young, the more likely you are to stick with them when you’re older, and your body will thank you for it.”

Afterwards, Ochoa and Cato participated with the attendees in a series of interactive exercises that included soccer drills, Bump!, parachute games, Kinect Sports, and the chicken dance, that are designed to promote health, fitness, and most of all, fun.

Leslie Haggart, Bellevue Boys and Girls Club’s Main Club Unit Director, emphasized the effect that athletes can have on children when it comes to relaying a positive message that the parents sometimes cannot.

“We want them to come every day,” Haggart said of Ochoa and Cato. “One of my goals here at the main club is to introduce these kids to as many positive role models as possible – be it sports, or people who are really good at math, or whatever – they need positive role models. Even when it’s something like eating more vegetables, fruits, eating healthier – they hear that from their parents, but to have someone they look up to and someone that does something they want to do come in and say that, it might hit home a little bit more. We really appreciate that.”

Sounders FC hosts three Family Fitness Night events each year in collaboration with SUBWAY® Restaurants of Western Washington and area Boys and Girls Clubs, promoting an active and healthy lifestyle for youth. Tuesday night’s event marked their third and final event of the year.

Children of the Bellevue Boys and Girls Club enjoy a meal together.

Sammy Ochoa and Cordell Cato sign autographs for children and their families.

Sammy Ochoa and Cordell Cato shoot hoops with members of the Bellevue Boys and Girls Club.