The New Ulm Basketball Association (NUBBA) is set to host its annual home tournaments in February and about 40 youth girls teams along with 60 youth boys teams from the Twin Cities, Rochester, Marshall, Willmar and all points between will be set for fast action, fun and some healthy competition.
This year, the competition won't be the only thing that's healthy; the offerings in the concession stands will be, too. At both the upcoming boys' grade 4-8 tournament being held Feb. 8-9 and the girls' grade 4-8 tournament being held Feb. 15-16, the concession stands will offer an array of new, tastier concessions that are healthier, too. In addition to the usual array of snacks, fans will have the opportunity to enjoy a 6-inch turkey or ham sub on a whole grain bun, string cheese, carrots, clementines, water, big pickles, granola bars and fruit. The offerings will be available at tournament locations Vogel Fieldhouse, New Ulm High School, District Administrative Center, Jefferson Elementary and Washington Elementary.
Jeff Anderson, NUBBA president, explained, "We want to fuel our kids for success both on and off the court. Sports not only provide physical activity for youngsters, but also an environment in which coaches can educate kids on healthy nutrition and exercise habits that they can take with them for a lifetime. Adding some healthier options to the mix is a great way for us to give a consistent message about our commitment to promoting activity and good health for both our kids and our fans."
The NUBBA Board has partnered with The Heart of New Ulm Project, which has been working with local athletic and food personnel from schools and sports organizations throughout the community to make healthier concessions available at area sporting events.
Holly Glaubitz, health educator with the Heart of New Ulm Project, said, "The culture has changed in New Ulm. People are making healthier food choices and looking for healthier alternatives wherever they go. We're thrilled that NUBBA decided the time was right to try out some new offerings. Many families have hectic schedules during the tournament, and sometimes the concession stand needs to provide a family meal as well as snack. It's great to provide options for parents to feed their family well and also for them to feel good about the available options as their kids head to the concession stand for a snack."
The offerings also provide choices for people who desire lighter options to help them lose or maintain their weight, or for people who are trying to eat more fruits and vegetables in order to keep their heart healthy, explained Glaubitz.
"More and more snacks and meals are being eaten away from home; it's not enough to eat well only at home anymore. We want to make it easy to make healthier choices throughout the New Ulm community," she said.
The Heart of New Ulm Project's concession campaign uses the slogan "SWAP IT to ROCK IT on the courts in the stands on the field in the classroom at home" to convey the message the healthier food choices can help students and adults alike stay energized and achieve optimal performance. Making small, healthier choices on a regular basis - SWAP-ing a healthier choice in place of a less-healthy choice - also helps people manage their weight and helps in the quest to reduce childhood obesity.
Anderson said, "We're confident our offerings will prove to be popular among our tournament players, families and guests, and profitable for our organization as well. I encourage everyone to come out and cheer on the NUBBA teams and support these new concession offerings. Together we are creating a community that supports health."
For complete tournament bracket information, visit www.newulmbasketball.com.