How Nine13sports Embodies Public Health by Clare Burkert

Some of my greatest memories as a kid were evening bike rides with my family in the summertime. My dad would take my siblings and I for a bike ride every single night and it has since been a hobby of mine. Growing up with an activity like this, I learned to be excited about exercise and use it as an outlet for stress and as a way to relate to others. 

People often ask me, “What is public health?” Public health is anything and everything that promotes wellness objectives. These include physical, emotional, spiritual, intellectual, environmental, and social components that interact in our daily lives. The goal and mission of public health is to improve these components to promote a healthier and happier population.

With public health as my major, the possibility of working with Nine13sports was very exciting to me because it combines my passion for education and biking. I choose public health as my major and career path because it is a very diverse field that addresses any issue in a variety of ways to promote education and awareness of health or social issues. The Kids Riding Bikes program, and all the programs at Nine13sports, embodies public health because it promotes advocacy, exercise, and overall development in the youth of central Indiana in an effective way.

With obesity considered an epidemic in the United States, it is important to me that we educate kids on the importance of exercise and get them excited about it, so it becomes a hobby as they grow older, not a burden. Teaching kids and motivating them to keep up with physical activity, through something simple like a bicycle, makes the mission of Nine13sports an important one. Riding a bike is a simple exercise activity that most people have access to, and can easily learn regardless of whether or not they are athletic or fit.

It is exciting to know that I will be learning how to effectively convey messages of the importance of physical activity, self-confidence, and teamwork to the kids we work with during my time with Nine13sports. In addition, it is empowering to be a part of an organization that makes a real difference in my hometown community.