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7 Healthcast

Technology is helping kids get fit

NEW BRITAIN, Conn. (WHDH) -- The pace is getting faster in physical education class thanks to technology that's notorious for slowing children down.

"The kids aren't doing as much activity outside, so they feel with interaction on the wall, video-type stuff, the kids will participate a lot more," said Bill Candelori, a PE teacher.

The Hop Sports Fitness Program is being implemented across New Britain Public Schools this year thanks to a $1 million federal grant. Hard driving music and video screens are part of every aspect of the program.

Candelori, a veteran PE teacher, said the interaction is the key to success.

"They don't realize they're doing the basic warm up we used to do and the basic fitness drills we used to do. They think they're playing, but they're getting a great workout," said Candelori.

Hop Sports includes demonstrations of all the strength, agility and balance drills.

Seventh graders at Slade Middle School bought into the program the first day.

"More people participate in gym class now. They like it more," said Patrick Wnorwski, a seventh grader.

The thinking is that greater participation will translate to higher fitness scores next fall.