In this space, we've commented before on kids barely old enough to cross the street alone yet who are Youtube sports stars - in auto racing, boxing, billiards, tennis, gymnastics. What am I forgetting? Something, I'm sure. The billiards champ was two. The prize fighter, all of seven, had a Web site and had recorded a hit single.
I just learned about the The WorkOut Kid. He's ten and - yes, an Internet sensation. The video above has already passed one million views on YouTube. At the WorkOut Kid Web site, there are the usual opportunities to swipe a credit card - $19.99 for the WorkOut Kid DVD, $29.95 for the WorkOut Kid backpack.
Kids' gyms and fitness training also are the subject of an article this week in Bloomberg BusinessWeek. Interesting piece that mostly explores how fitness clubs are catering to younger and younger customers.
From the BW article:
Jeff Martin, director of youth programming for CrossFit Brand X, a health club in Ramona, Calif., claims his business has doubled in the past three years and that the majority of his new clients are underage. “We have kids coming into our gym now who are 2½, 3 years old,” Martin says. Brian K. Maloney, director of fitness and education at New York City’s Visions Wellness Center, believes his gym is attracting a younger crowd mainly because it allows it. “Unlike a lot of health clubs and private gyms, which won’t let you work out in the weight room unless you’re 16 or older, our insurance covers younger members,” says Maloney, who charges $70 and up for pre-adolescent sessions. “We cater to people who have the money,” he says.
I see how the adults nudging these kids to center stage are benefiting - financially and otherwise. Still waiting for a sports medicine expert to step forward to say this is healthy for kids.
Thank you, Rabbi Michael Green.