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Wednesday, Oct 12, 2016

Berkshire students lace up for first 5K with sneakers donated by Fleet Feet

For four student athletes at Berkshire Farm Center in Canaan, NY, a professional fitting for running sneakers means more than just getting a new pair of shoes. Thanks to a donation by Albany sports store, Fleet Feet, students feel the support and confidence they need to take on their first race. “Our staff was happy to get these four Berkshire students fitted with running shoes for their 5K race next month,” said Fleet Feet general manager Barbara Gillen. “They loved the professional fitting experience, and will be able to wear their sneakers long after the race is over.”

The athletes started their journey to healthier living at the residential treatment center for adolescent youth when their counselor, Kwaku Kontoh, started showing up at their cottages every day to bring them out for a workout. Though Kontoh is currently training students for the race in October, the purpose of the fitness club runs much deeper than that.

“My number one goal for Kontoh Fitness is to keep students engaged in their daily schedules, while giving them something different to look forward to that motivates them to do well,” said Kontoh. “The other goal is more personal—to build a healthy habit and take care of their bodies at a young age. I tell them that if they build this habit now, it will be second nature by the time they’re my age.” The Kontoh Fitness method ejects students out of their comfort zones and prepares them to address future situations clear heads and confidence, in everyday life, as well as in athletics. These new sneakers from Fleet Feet are a vote of confidence in their ability as young athletes taking on their first 5K.

If you would like to help provide recreational activities for our youth such as Kontoh Fitness, please visit our Donate page for more information on donating and what your donation will provide for students:

From Plattsburgh to Long Island and Buffalo to Canaan, Berkshire Farm Center and Services for Youth provides innovative programs that strengthen New York State’s children and families so they can live safely, independently, and productively in their home communities. Berkshire’s full continuum of care offers home-based family preservation, foster care, group home, residential treatment, and drug and alcohol treatment services.

—Sydney Lester

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