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South Bend personal trainer on mission to mentor kids through fitness

SOUTH BEND, IN - Sometimes it just takes one to change the lives of many.

In a city packed with more than 100,000 people, one man has made it his mission to mentor a group of kids in South Bend.

Operation FitKids is the brainchild of Beacon Personal Trainer Brian Foster.

“You have a lot of kids that don’t do nothing. They don’t have anybody in their lives to show them the proper steps or ways or mentor them. And that’s why I want to give back,” said Foster.

During the summer over 250 kids rotate between three locations every two weeks: The Charles Black Center, the Kroc Center and the Martin Luther King Junior Center.

“Look for what we could do to keep kids fit, because obesity is very big because of this digital world and kids being lazy, so I thought this was a major, major plus. And I thought with my background in personal fitness as well, I thought this would be great to give back to the community,” said Foster.

Foster, focuses on mentoring, preaching personal fitness, the ins and outs of nutrition, and the dangers of childhood obesity.

“I mean, I see it all the time. I see kids wandering around getting messed up in the wrong loop and can turn a different way. I figure having a program like this. Training a kid and making them fit and healthy and have them running around and being really fit and active in a fun way, could really help them as well,” said Foster.

The new program is music to many of these kids’ ears, including soon-to-be 6th grader Jamyla “Patty” Lockhart.

“He’s basically helping people stay in shape and making sure they get the proper nutrition and staying healthy,” said Lockhart.

In a city this big, sometimes all it takes is one brave soul to battle the odds.

“’Coach Brian are you gonna come work us out today.’ Just seeing the smiles on their faces, that's all I want. That makes me feel real special,” said Foster.

The program is free for kids of all ages and abilities.

The group is about to wrap up year one, as school is back in session in a few weeks, however Foster is looking forward to many years ahead helping shape lives.


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