When you think of Indianapolis sports during the month of May, the Indianapolis 500 zooms to the top of the list. To celebrate, you and your family can get off the sideline, race to the finish line and discover the importance of the pit crew in the AJ Foyt Pedal Car Pitstop Challenge.
Located in the Riley Children’s Health Sports Legends Experience at The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis, families can work as a team to get to the green flag. After your child pedals a couple of laps around the miniature track, they will make a pitstop, during which their team will complete various tasks, such as moving a stack of tires before taking their last lap and pedaling to victory. If you visit the Wednesday or Thursday before the big race, you just might run into some of the IndyCar drivers testing the pedal cars around the track!
Families can also expect to see some other new experiences as the Sports Legends Experience enters its fifth season. Visitors will learn through play about the importance of non-competitive sports as they tackle the Muscle Mover’s Program. There are two separate programs based on age (one for littles and one for older kids). They both are based on state standards and focus on coordination, speed and agility. This program was created with the help of coach Paul Souza, a former NCAA track coach who has worked with many elite athletes. Now, he will work with your kiddos.
The program gives kids the opportunity to set goals and challenge themselves. “The Muscle Movers Program deals with agility, coordination, balance and speed — but it’s not sports-specific,” says Jason Greene, manager of Riley Children’s Health Sports Legends Experience. “There’s a training element, and then there’s a game to it. It allows for kids to challenge themselves but not focus on being competitive against others.” This season, the football tackle dummies and crash pads will be returning, and the museum is welcoming more female legends.
Everyone is welcome to play, and the museum is dedicated to ensuring that everyone has a positive experience. The museum is partnering with the Positive Coaching Alliance, which focuses on making sure sports are accessible to everyone. Coaches want kids to know that mistakes are part of the process.
“We make sure families know effort is more important than outcome,” Greene says. “We always want to learn from the little mistakes and get better. Smiles are more important than points on the board. Who knows — they might find a sport they love and play it for a lifetime.”
Start your engines and race to the Riley Children’s Health Sports Legends Experience for great, lasting family memories!