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XRKade comes to Hurley Youth Center

By Ester Hoeben
Salisbury Post
Q. What are all the signs about the XRKade opening at the J.F. Hurley Family YMCA? Does it cost extra?
A. You can go to the Web site XRKade.com to experience this whole new way of getting people to move and have fun doing it. We are SO excited about our expansion of the Buck Hurley Youth Center and Gym, powered by XRKade, opening sometime in May.
After two days of training, I am officially an XRKade coach.
Our great team of fitness professionals came together and wondered what they could do to get our youth moving who do not play “traditional” sports ó baseball, basketball, football, soccer, etc. They had read statistics like:
Approximately 22 million children under age 5 are overweight and more than 16 percent of the U.S. population between the ages of 6 to 19 is obese, with rates estimated to exceed 30 percent.
Whatever we try to do ó in collaboration with many others ó for some reason it just doesn’t fly.
The XRKade team found out that 92 percent of children ages 2 to 17 have regular access to video games on a daily basis. Time spent watching TV and playing video games averages over 3 hours per day for ages 8 to 18. In 2006, video game industry sales exceeded the film industry’s annual box office sales with more than $12.6 billion in U.S. sales, with a growth rate in excess of 20 percent.
XRKade came up with the bright idea of bringing the gaming experience which the kids love and use and add movement to the games. If you are familiar with the Wii, XRKade is the upgraded, commercial version of the Wii. We actually have bikes you pedal while you are watching “your guy” four wheel on the flat screen in front of you. The faster you pedal, the faster the four-wheeler goes.
By the way, my “guy” was flying of course and I wasn’t even pedaling fast!
I have never been a gamer. I would rather do than sit ó now I can do both. I am going to practice and I will be able to keep the four-wheeler on the track. I am very good at the 3 kick, the Jackie Chan boxing game, the Trazer, Snowboarding and Dance Revolution.
We have 20 stations. You just have to come and see them. You can come and check it out at any time ó you can do a tour if you are not a member ó and there is NO additional cost to our members to use the XRKade. My son has already planned his birthday party in the XRKade. (There is a cost for the parties.)
All “XRKaders” have to go through an orientation first to be able to go to open play.
I hope this answered your question and got everyone excited. I know I am!
Ester Hoeben is associate executive director of the J.F. Hurley Family YMCA. Contact her with health and fitness questions at 704-636-0111 or ehoeben@rowanymca.com.

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