NB3FIT is a direct service youth sports and leadership program currently serving Native American and tribal communities in New Mexico. The goal is to help build the capacity of Native American communities in New Mexico and beyond to develop and implement youth development programs through sport, namely golf, soccer and cross-country.
Sports is widely acknowledged for its effective ability to mobilize and inspire youth and structured programs such as NB3FIT offer one-of-a-kind opportunities for targeted and complementary education on health and wellness.
NB3FIT staff and coaches work directly with youth to:
- Learn about food and nutrition, physical activity and health choices that can prevent and/or address childhood obesity and reduce the risk for developing type 2 diabetes.
- Learn about Native cultural values such as respect for others and for self, persistence, teamwork, and self-discipline- all that apply to other areas of their lives.
- Participate in outdoor physical activities that stimulate their interest in physical fitness and community engagement. The vehicles for this education are golf, soccer, and cross-country.
At the individual level, because of the nutrition/health/wellness education conducted, we have experienced changes in healthy habits, increased awareness of and better nutritional choices made, increased levels of physical activity, and a more positive outlook for the future as obesity and type 2 diabetes are not seen as inevitable developments. At the community level, because of community involvement and the nutrition/health/wellness education conducted, we expect to see a higher level of community awareness and engagement in health and wellness. Through this project’s proactive engagement, education and mentoring, young people receive a boost to develop into the leaders that their community needs and deserves. By focusing on communities’ youth, NB3 Foundationworks to instill lifelong healthy habits and influence the parents and other adults in their sphere.
NB3 Foundation, over the past 10 years, has directly served thousands of local Native youth in the surrounding Pueblos, Eastern Navajo Nation and Albuquerque area. One of the crowning achievements of NB3 Foundation was the construction of a full-size soccer field for the Pueblo of San Felipe. This $2 million soccer field quickly became home to a vibrant youth soccer program serving hundreds of San Felipe youth. Not to be out done, the NB3 Foundation junior golf program has produced high-school golf champions and collegiate-bound golfers who now return each summer to help coach the next generation of young players engaged in our program.
In 2015, over 600 unduplicated youth 7-14 in the Native community of To’hajiilee (on the Navajo Reservation), at Laguna Pueblo, at Santa Ana Pueblo, and in urban Albuquerque (at the Native American Community Academy) have participated in culturally-centered golf programming. All NB3FIT programming integrates nutrition, obesity and diabetes prevention education and physical fitness training to promote healthy lifestyles.