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New Science Gallery Focuses on Fitness

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Sioux Falls, SD (10/24/07) – Ever wonder what it takes to be the best of the best as an athlete? Or maybe you’ve just wondered what it takes to get and stay in shape? You can now find out at an exciting new exhibit opening at the Kirby Science Discovery Center at the Washington Pavilion. 
“Starting Line: Fit for Life” is a new science exhibit gallery where children and families can test their skills as a mountain climber, wheelchair racer, soccer goalie or even check their skill and speed as a top-notch baseball pitcher. The newest gallery, sponsored by the Avera Sport Institute, inhabits the fourth floor of the science center. “Starting Line: Fit for Life" marks the first full exhibit sponsorship within the science center. 
Avera McKennan Hospital and University Health Center and the Avera Sports Institute are dedicated to serving the fitness needs of area children. They’ve partnered with some of the area's finest athletic organizations and built a world-class athletic performance enhancement training and sports medicine rehabilitation center dedicated to local youth, amateur and professional athletes.  
“We have invested a great deal in facilities and programs to benefit the children of our community. Our goal is to encourage young people to be more active and healthier,” said Fred Slunecka, regional president at Avera McKennan. “Sponsoring this exhibit makes sense because it’s designed to do just what its name says, inspire young people to get out and get fit.” 
The new gallery features a host of hands on activities that focus on fitness, health and lifelong sports. Included among the exhibits are a pitching cage that doubles as a sprint track, allowing participants to check the speed of their fastball or how they rate running against Olympic sprinter Carl Lewis or even a jaguar. There is an expansive climbing wall, a head to head racing station for both bicycles and wheelchairs. A virtual reality studio allows players to test their skills as a soccer or hockey goalie or become a player in a virtual reality volleyball or basketball game.  The always popular Dance, Dance Revolution is included, as are exhibits that test one’s jumping abilities, dexterity, and reaction times.  
Visitors to the new exhibit will be able to keep track of their individual results using Fit for Life scorecards. Results can then be entered at an online website designed to allow participants to track their results for every visit. 
“This is one fantastic exhibit gallery that encourages kids to get off the couch, get moving and find a sport or activity that they can embrace for life. In the process they will learn various aspects of the science in sports and why it is important to get fit for life,”, said Chris Rossing, director of the KSDC. 
The official opening of the new exhibit is Mon., Nov. 5, 2007. A grand opening dedication will be held beginning at 11 a.m. and will include representatives of Avera and the Avera Sports Institute with Avera McKennan Regional President Fred Slunecka welcoming area students and marking the official opening of the new gallery.
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