New Challenge Teaches Kids Benefits of Fitness

HONOLULU (KHNL) -- Just get out and play. That's the message to Hawaii's keiki from a new, international competition.

A relay race, push ups, sit ups, and squats. They're all simple exercises that get these kids going.

"Yes, really tired," said 8-year old Megan Lum.

"They work on one, two, three, (areas)," said 11-year old Josh Terao. "It's hard."

It's day one of the Great Hawaiian International Fitness Challenge and Judo Competition. Medals are awarded to the best performances, but the competition also has another goal.

"To combat diabetes and obesity, we have to develop a program to help these children overcome the objective," said Albert Aoki, chairman of the 50th State Judo Association, and founder of the challenge.

Volunteers from parents, to soldiers from Schofield's 25th infantry division help pull off this inaugural event. Kids are here from Oahu, Maui, the mainland, and as far as Australia and Japan.

"We feel by having this program set up for the whole world, we can encourage children to be in fine shape," said Aoki.

"I had fun," said Terao. "I met new friends from Japan, and I got to work out too. So that was cool."

"I learn that we should exercise cause it's good for us," said Lam.

"I think I did pretty good, but I think I can still improve, a little better next year," she said.

And hopefully, everyone else wants to, as well.

Judo competition is Sunday. Organizers hope to make the event bigger next year.